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February 5, 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.


  • Gary

    Bob, sorry if this has been covered in an earlier post, but in all the discussions here and other places about creating underground environments for habitation on the Moon, Mars and other locations, has there been any proof of concept work done on Earth? Or, is assumed the technology is so basic that no proof of concept is needed? Thanks.

  • David M. Cook

    @Gary I would think the concept of TBM (Tunnel Boring Machinery) is fairly well advanced today, so you should be able to bring one or two with you. These things leave a concrete-lining, so you need to source the concrete or bring it with you from Earth.

  • Joe

    Don’t bring concrete from Earth. That is a complete waste of resources. Develop concrete from local sources on the moon. That is where we need to develop technology. Boring tech is well, boring at this point.

  • wayne

    my genius Plan:
    Some sort of concrete-esque admixture made with indigenous materials + polymers, so when it sets, it’s airtight.

  • Gary

    I was thinking more of the discussions about using lava tubes that exist. Seems to me the issue of sealing up the lava tubes would be a different scenario than drilling passageways in solid ground. You wouldn’t have to drill, but sealing the area off might be more challenging. We have lots of lava tubes on earth. I’m just wondering if anyone has tried to create a living environment in one of those to prove out the concept.

  • wayne

    I’d be interested in studies on how shotcrete (or similar) behaves off-world.

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