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.

House Panel Lays Out Spending Preferences for science programs

The Republicans on the House science panel lay out their recommended spending plans for science.

Updated and bumped: First a correction: in my original post I had incorrectly assumed these recommendations were from the entire House panel, not from the Republicans alone. (You can read their actual letter here [pdf].)

Second, that these recommendations come from the Republicans alone is quite depressing, as it seems they don’t have the guts to cut much of anything. All these recommendations do is trim some programs around the edges. Overall, very little is cut at all, with almost all departments ending up with budgets greater than they had in 2008. Even NASA, whose budget is cut from the 2011 $18.8 billion down to $16.6 billion, still includes the billions allocated for the Congressionally-designed Space Launch System. As these Republicans depressingly enthuse, “We also strongly support proposed funding levels for the Space Launch System and the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.”

With this kind of budget-cutting wimpiness from the Republicans, I expect the federal government to continue to grow in an out-of-control manner, even as the rest of the economy continues to tank.

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One comment

  • Joe2

    Yet as you note NASA’s overall budget would be cut by about 12%.

    It is just that they do not cut the parts of NASA you would like them to cut.

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