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.

China: All well for manned test capsule

The new colonial movement: A sparse report in China’s propaganda state-run press today states that the test manned capsule launched by its Long March 5B rocket on May 5 is functioning normally in orbit.

So far, the new spaceship, developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the CASC, has unfolded its solar panels and positioned them toward the sun, deployed its relay antenna and established a relay communication link, as well as conducted autonomous orbit control four times.

It is now in a stable flight attitude in a highly elliptical orbit, with the power supply, measurements and control links normal, said the CASC.

They intend to raise its orbit three times before returning to Earth on May 8th. This higher orbit is likely intended to increase the speed in which the spacecraft reenters the atmosphere, thus facilitating one of the mission’s goals, testing the system’s heat shield. It is likely that this higher orbit will also allow them to test reentry procedures for returning the capsule from beyond Earth orbit.

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4 comments

  • pzatchok

    If true good for them.

    Maybe it was just a second stage booster that failed. Or just didn’t preform perfectly.

  • Captain Emeritus

    I hope they fail in every aspect.
    They are Chinese Communists, a Death Plague on all mankind.

  • Dick Eagleson

    pzatchok,

    What failed was a relatively small secondary payload that consisted of a cargo cannister equipped with an inflatable hypersonic decelerator/heat shield plus parachute. The hypersonic decelerator seems to have been what failed. A NASA program to develop larger-scale versions of this same general technology has also suffered reverses.

    The whole project is probably China’s way of getting science results or other modest quantities of downmass back from its space station on a more frequent schedule than will be allowed by just packing them inside their new manned space caspsule once it is in operation. That capsule isn’t going to fly very often. And the Chinese have no cargo vehicle with a re-entry capability like the Dragon 1 and soon-to-debut Cargo Dragon 2 and Dream Chaser Cargo. Their cargo vehicle is like Cygnus – it can bring stuff up, but not back down.

    There are Western NewSpace firms also developing small re-entry vehicles that would allow more frequent, if smaller, downmass returns from ISS or future private stations in LEO. I think at least one of them is looking to use inflatable hypersonic decelerators too.

  • wayne

    Minuteman III ICBM
    launch animation
    https://youtu.be/S-V6MZlyCqE

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