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It is now confirmed that a helium leak caused the scrub of the Falcon 9 May 10 launch.

It is now confirmed that a helium leak caused the scrub of the Falcon 9 May 10 launch.

According to reports, no damage occurred, but tracing the leak has apparently taken longer than expected, which explains the slip in the announced schedule.

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.


  • geoffc

    FAA Experimental permit for DragonFly vehicle at McGregor,TX site:,-12,214

    I preferred the notional DragonRider vs DragonFly due to the Pern reference, (And an endless series of available names, Ramoth, Mnemneth, Ruth, etc)


    – up to four steel landing legs
    – weighs 14000 lbs unfueled
    – maximum proplellant load is 400 gallons

    Four kinds of test flights expected:
    – propulsive assist landing (dropped from helicopter with chutes)
    – fully propulsive landing (dropped from helicopter)
    – propulsive assist hop (self launched, parachute deploys)
    – fully propulsive hop (like Grasshopper)

    This is gonna be totally AWESOME! The cows at McGregor are in for a series of scary days. (Or else they will be the most jaded cattle on the planet).

    Faster please! (As Glenn Reynolds likes to say).

  • geoffc

    Great thread on this topic at

    Calling out the high points. This is going to be so much fun!

  • Pzatchok

    I can’t wait until they have launches backed up. Launches every week or two.

    Then if something like this happens they can just role the rocket off the launch pad and role the next one on for a minimal delay between launches. They are only making money of things fly.

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