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.

China launches another remote sensing satellite; crashes 1st stage near homes

The new colonial movement: China today used its Long March 4D rocket to launch another remote sensing satellite.

UPDATE: It appears the first stage booster crashed near a populated area. Footage of the crash can be seen here. Note that the red smoke indicates very toxic materials. Anyone who goes close risks serious health problems.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

22 China
15 SpaceX
9 Russia
4 Europe (Arianespace)

In the national rankings the U.S. still leads China 24 to 22.

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  • Frank Solomon

    Apparently, enough of it hit the ground near the launch area to cause some big issues:

    Aside from the problems for the neighbors, a military officer might see something like this and decide that a foreign nation just attacked mainland China. Coastal launches tend to avoid all this . . .

  • Frank Solomon: Thank you! Post now updated.

  • Pat

    Not surprised, as those early Long March rockets were essentially monkey copies of the Titan II, which used hypergolic fuel. And toxic does not begin to cover it.

    I had a friend (of blessed memory) who worked on Project Apollo through Apollo 12. He told me when they would be working around the Saturn V/Apollo CSM stack on the pad when the CSM was fueled prior to launch, they had to wear special protective suits in case of a leak with the hypergolics that were used in the Apollo CSM/LM. He said that you were literally hermetically sealed in with these suits, and God help you if you had a case of, um, gas while wearing it. But that is how nasty hydrazine fuels can be.

  • Captain Emeritus

    It is incredulous to me, a Chinese peasant can catch a falling rocket booster on video, meanwhile millions of phones and security cams around LAX, can’t see a guy, flying a jet pack, down final approach amongst the airliner traffic. ?

  • Jeff Wright

    I have a grudging respect for China. Unlike Boeing, they show no fear—

    No fear of hypergolics: debris crashing near school kids? We can make more.

    Darkseid approves

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