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.

Curiosity’s wheels: a good news update

Curiosity's wheels
Click here and here for the original images.

For the past few weeks Curiosity has been traveling across some of the roughest terrain it has seen on Mars, since landing in Gale Crater in August 2012. The rover is now roving among the high cliffs and foothills at the very base of Mt Sharp, with the ground covered with rocks, boulders, plates of bedrock, and all sorts of protrusions.

On August 1st the rover team used its cameras to do another survey of the rover’s wheels to see how they fared during that journey. The two images to the right compare the same area on the same wheel after the most recent 16 sols of travel. This is the same wheel I have focused on since 2017. Overall, the damage in the most recent picture seems almost identical to the previous picture. In fact, if you compare today’s image with the annotated version of the 2017 photo, found here, you can see how little things have changed since then.

From this one wheel it appears that the wheels are continuing to hold up quite well. The Curiosity team of course needs to review all the images of all the wheels, but based on this one comparison, it looks like their long term strategies for mitigating damage to the wheels is working, even in the rough terrain the rover is presently traversing.


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One comment

  • pzatchok

    When I first found out about the damage to the wheels I had quite a bit of ill thoughts and comments for the engineers who made them.

    Since them my crow has thankfully not been to bad to eat.

    They are handling things rather well.

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