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.

How to turn an American spacecraft ferrying astronauts to ISS serve as a lifeboat as well.

How to turn an American spacecraft ferrying astronauts to ISS serve as a lifeboat as well.

A very interesting read, as it outlines the specific technical problems faced by engineers that one wouldn’t normally consider. The capsule has to be able to remain functional and reliable after months in orbit, but it also has to become functional at a moment’s notice, should an emergency happen.


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  • Pzatchok

    Space X already brings its own power systems along on each flight. Solar panels and batteries.

    Now all they need are collapsible seats for the passengers and an air scrubber system like Apollo had.

    They do not need to have power on all the time to circulate air. Just for the time people are going to be using it as a lifeboat.

    Hopefully the passengers are also in their own spacesuits with their own contained air system that can be used as a second back up.

    As for an armor system.
    Space X can lift their own cone shaped shield up with one flight and leave it bolted to the station for use with all of its other ships that dock.
    It will or can be left behind on the station when the craft leaves.
    Its not needed for landing or re-entry.
    Its only shielding for when the ship is docked.
    And bringing a new one up with every trip is stupid and a waste of payload.
    It could even possibly be used to help guide the ships in and dock them. thus helping space X become a self docking ship.

    All other ships will just have to adapt to the new docking system or use other docks.

  • joe

    I wonder how much more efficient that acre of solar panels is up in low earth orbit vs. being on terra firma, realizing that those panels don’t have to deal with an atmosphere and dust, and with a lot more sunlight actually available to it, probably a lot. What also in kilowatts are the requirements of ISS, minus the two soyuz capsuls?

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