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February 12, 2021 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

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.


  • Ray Van Dune

    Bob, great columns as always in revealing the big picture in space developments. A couple of nits: I am pretty sure that Voyagers 1 and 2 are now a bit beyond object Waywayout., and of course getting further away all the time, since they are not in orbit around the Sun, but on an escape trajectory.

    Secondly, the plane of the solars system is the “ECliptic”, not “ELLiptic”, although the orbits of the planets are ELLiptical.

    Ps. I think the “Ecliptic” actually refers to the path the Sun follows across the stars over a year, when viewed from Earth. Since each planet has a slightly different orbital inclination, there is only an average plane of the planets and it is just called that… the average plane of the planets, as far as I know.

  • Ray Van Dune: Re the Voyager craft, I was asked a question and answered off the cuff, so I am not surprised I was not quite right. I just checked. Voyager 1 is at 152 au. Voyager 2 is at 127 au.

    So I was half right. Either way, both are now considered beyond the heliosphere and thus in interstellar space, outside the solar system. Farfarout though farther away than Voyager 2 is still part of the solar system because it remains in orbit around the Sun.

    As for my misuse of elliptic, thank you. I say a lot in a short amount of time, and garble my words sometimes.

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