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A look ahead to Sunday’s comet fly-by of Mars

On Sunday Comet Siding Spring will whiz past Mars at a distance of only 82,000 miles.

The article gives a good overview of where look to see the comet if you own a telescope, as well as what the many spacecraft at Mars are going to do to both view the fly-by as well as protect themselves from it.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • PeterF

    In the trilogy, “Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars” one of the methods used to bring water to Mars was to steer comets into an intercept, then blow them up into small pieces upon reentry. There were some other very interesting ideas in the series as well.

  • Max

    Life imitating fiction. I also read the series and enjoyed it very much. Real data mixed with good science and a touch of fantasy to make it almost plausible. (The terraforming of Mars with space elevators I mean.)
    In real life, Mars is not dense enough to hold a thick atmosphere. So I am hoping the author will tell the terraforming story for “White Venus” and ” Jeweled Saturn”.
    Venus is earths evil twin but has nearly the same gravity. With 90 earth atmospheres, it would probably terraform into a water planet. I’m thinking airogell constructed carbon fiber cities suspended from hydrogen balloons floating in the green zone miles above the hot surface. Since Venus’s day is longer then it’s Year, a space elevator probably wouldn’t work.
    Saturn on the other hand would be a fun challenge. With gravity only 10% more than Earths, humans could live there without much discomfort.

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