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.

Blue Origin to auction the first seat on the first New Shepard tourist flight

Capitalism in space: Blue Origin announced today that it going to auction to the highest bidder the first tourist seat on the first New Shepard tourist flight, now scheduled for July 20, 2021, a little over two months from now. From the company^s website, where you can bid:

On July 20th, New Shepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space. We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction.

There are three phases of the auction:

  • MAY 5-19: Sealed online bidding – you can bid any amount you want on the auction website (no bids are visible)
  • MAY 19: Unsealed online bidding – the bids become visible and participants must exceed the highest bid to continue in the auction
  • JUNE 12: Live auction – the bidding concludes with a live online auction.

The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.

This is a very smart move, as it will generate some excitement and interest. It also schedules this private suborbital flight ahead of SpaceX’s first private orbital flight in September, allowing Blue Origin to upstage its rival somewhat.

It also is designed to help Blue Origin gauge the true interest in suborbital tourism. The final price will give them a good idea the right price to charge future passengers in order to sell the most tickets.

Finally, the timing of everything shows a nice historic touch. The announcement today took place on the 60th anniversary of Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight. The flight itself will take place on the 52rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.

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4 comments

  • V-Man

    The suborbital anniversary’s is nice timing, yes.

    Bit eclipsed by the successful landing of an orbital-class fully reusable rocket, though…

  • Dick Eagleson

    July 20, 2021 is the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, not the 63rd.

  • Dick Eagleson: Yeah, I knew my math was wrong somehow when I wrote it, but then, this is why I am not an engineer. Fixed. Thank you.

  • Jeff Wright

    I made a sub-orbital hop after being stung by a wasp:
    – where’s my money?

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