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January 6, 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.


  • Jay

    I have a more accurate count on the number of dockings to the aft port of Zvezda: 35 by Progress, 5 for ESA’s ATV and 59 Soyuz missions. I would say that a grand total of 99 dockings, but with the failure of docking Soyuz MS-14 on the Poisk module, they moved MS-13 to the Poisk port to allow MS-14 to use the KURS to dock in the aft. So the total known number of dockings to the aft module is 100.

    That port has been used a lot!

  • Jay: Whoa! That is most illuminating. Thank you. I fear that stress is a factor here, and that the “equipment” the Russians are sending to ISS to fix the problem might involve some major repairwork. The Russians proved themselves very adapt at this with Mir, so there is no reason to lose hope.

    Still, the situation is worrisome, as I am sure the Russians know.

  • Jay

    So I am willing to bet there have been many more dockings to that port. When ESA launched their first ATV, I bet they did multiple dockings to test the mechanisms. Also were multiple docking tests done on the four variants of the Soyuz that visited the station: TM, TMA, TMA-M, and MS.
    Probably a call to Houston can give you the real number.

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