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.

Chinese smallsat rocket company completes suborbital launch

iSpace, a Chinese smallsat rocket company, completed a suborbital test rocket launch today, releasing three cubesats.

The article at the link is very short and poorly written. It implies that two cubesats reached orbit, with a third returning to Earth using a parachute. This was clearly a suborbital flight


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  • Col Beausabre

    “sub-orbital” ? Way too grandiose. Any shot that doesn’t put something into orbit is “sub-orbital”. We used call such beasts a “sounding rocket” and there’s been thousands of ’em launched since the late Forties.

    And no disrespect to the Chinese, there’s several companies around the world that have made their living building sounding rockets, welcome to the club, but lets call a “spade” a “god da@# shovel”

  • pzatchok

    Just how does a sub orbital rocket launch place two cube sats into orbit and at the same time drops one into re-entry with a parachute?

    Did the dang thing fall apart and they only found one cube sat so they came up with this poor cover story like the old Soviet union?

  • Edward

    I suspect that it was poor writing or poor translation by this Chinese news organization. From the article: “After entering its preset orbit, the rocket will release two satellites for testing” from a (Chinese language) statement from the company.

    A suborbital flight is an orbit that intersects the Earth, so the preset orbit would have been suborbital, and the two test CubeSats, released into that preset suborbital orbit, may have merely fallen back to Earth without parachutes.

    It would have been nice for the article to have said more about the flight, such as altitude, and the tests that the CubeSats did.

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