An Orbital Sciences’ Minotaur rocket tonight launched a record 29 satellites into orbit, 28 of which were cubesats.

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.

An Orbital Sciences’ Minotaur rocket tonight launched a record 29 satellites into orbit, 28 of which were cubesats.

More here.


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  • There’s a Depnr launch tomorrow that will launch more.. but beyond just the numerical significance, it will be launching SkySat-1, the first Earth observing satellite for the US company Skybox Imaging. They are one of the perspective customers for Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne.

  • Steve Mackelprang

    Reading this made me wonder about the orbit/s of this group of satellite. Do they move as a group or are they positioned in such a way they move into dispersed orbits? The logistics of keeping track of all of this over time seems problematic to me, but I don’t know enough to really have a feel for the actual mechanics.

    One reads of the increasing amount of debris that is in orbit and while I realize the volumes of space involved are tremendous, releasing whole ” flocks” of birds seems to make things even more complicated.

  • Cubesats are not designed to stay in orbit very long. After a few months their orbits will decade and they will burn up in the atmosphere. Thus, they will not contribute to the space junk problems.

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