Invented by engineers at the US government’s Sandia National Laboratories, the self-guided bullet homes in on a laser spot trained on a target from up to 1.4 kilometres away from its firing point. If the target is a moving truck, say, and it moves after the bullet is fired, the laser illumination as seen by a laser sensor in the bullet’s nose instructs the bullet to finely twist tiny rudder-like fins on its rear end to keep it on target.
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.
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