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.

Astra buys space tug company that builds electric engines

Capitalism in space: The smallsat rocket company Astra announced today that it has brought Apollo Fusion, a space tug company that builds electric engines designed to move satellites from orbit to orbit.

Astra is purchasing Apollo Fusion for $30 million in stock and $20 million in cash in a deal announced June 7. The deal includes an additional $95 million in earn-out incentives if Apollo Fusion reaches certain technical and revenue milestones. Astra will incorporate Apollo Fusion’s Apollo Constellation Engine electric propulsion systems in satellite buses the company is developing to provide an integrated solution to customers.

Astra however has still not completed its first orbital flight. Its last test launch, in December 2020, almost reached orbit but did not. Company officials are now saying the next launch will be this summer, followed by monthly launches in the fall.

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One comment

  • Jay

    Impressive numbers on specific impulse for their ACE Max Hall Effect thruster on the Apollo Fusion company website. They also are doing some nuclear propulsion work, but not much is known on that.
    I did have to look up Astra, there are two space companies with that name, one in California and the other in Europe. I did follow Bob’s link and it is the rocket company out of California. According to Astra’s website, they are going public on NASDAQ.

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