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.

Four more flights for Ingenuity in the next eleven days.

According to MiMi Aung, Ingenuity’s project manager, the test flight campaign for the Mars helicopter Ingenuity has only about eleven days left, during which they will try to complete full flight program of four more test flights.

The helicopter’s one-month test flight campaign officially began April 3, then the Perseverance rover deployed Ingenuity onto the surface of Mars. “We have a 30 day experiment window, so we have two weeks left,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity’s project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

She said the helicopter will attempt “increasingly bolder flights” that could travel more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) from its takeoff location. “We do want to push it, and I believe we have enough time to squeeze the next four flights in the next two weeks left.”

The second flight, where the helicopter will go up about 16 feet and then move sideways about seven feet before landing at its take-off point, could happen tomorrow. The third flight, which will travel as much as 150 feet, will follow soon thereafter.


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  • Col Beausabre

    What is the plan after the initial campaign – seems like a wase just to park it

  • Col Beausabre: They are aiming to push the helicopter hard enough that it might even crash.

    If it doesn’t, it won’t matter because its job will be done. This is only an engineering test. It can’t really do any science, so it would be a much bigger waste to devote communications and time to flying it more.

  • Jerry E Greenwood

    It seems to me that just leaving it behind at the end of this engineering test unless their intention IS to fly it to it’s failure. It would be fairly simple to have it tag along as the rover explores the area and recon interesting sightings w/o having to drive closer. It has it’s own camera. It might find an interesting cave or a beer can just behind that boulder.

  • Lee Stevenson

    It’s not like we have never seen extended missions before… If the plucky little drone thingy performs I won’t be surprised if an extended mission is announced.. although is there any footage released yet from its main camera? Regardless, either way, the only 2 options are to keep it flying, or test it to destruction.. it’s never going to have a nice gentle landing and RIP! When it’s work is done. Hopefully a while from now!

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