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.
 

Leak hunt continues on ISS

Two stories today indicate that the search for the elusive source of the slow leak on ISS is continuing.

The problem is that the two stories appear to have no overlap, making it hard to figure out what is planned and why.

The first story describes how engineers, based on the first isolation test, now think the leak must be coming from one of two modules:

…the ones the crew didn’t test because they were inside them while monitoring the rest of the station. One is the Zvezda Service Module, which provides life support for the station’s Russian side. The other is the Poisk Mini-Research Module 2, which serves as a port for docking spaceships and a place where crew members prepare for spacewalks.

The second story, from the Russian press, does not mention this detail. All it says is that the astronauts are going to once again isolate themselves in “the Russian segment” so the rest of the station can be tested for leaks. Since the two modules in question are both in that Russian segment, it is unclear where the astronauts will be isolated, especially since Zvezda is also where the Soyuz descent capsule is docked and if sealed from astronaut access it also seals them from their lifeboat.

It could be that the plan is to do another test of the American side of the station, then do these two Russian modules after the arrival of the next manned Dragon mission in a little less than a month. Dragon can then replace Soyuz as a lifeboat, allowing a test of Zvezda.

Regardless, the leak is a slow one, and is not yet life-threatening. That the leak rate has recently increased however requires action to find and fix it.

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4 comments

  • Ray Van Dune

    I know the next Dragon with bring 4 astronauts, but I believe it can accommodate up to 7. Will it / can it be configured with max seats to serve as a lifeboat for the entire crew complement?

  • Patrick Underwood

    Obviously an American astronaut has snuck into the Sov— uh, I mean, Russian—side, and committed sabotage. I mean, obviously. Come on.

  • Dick Eagleson

    If so, he must have somehow gotten by the nannycams the Russkies said they were going to install. So, in addition to being devious, he must also have the ability to become invisible. Oh yes, and to make anything he carries invisible too, else whatever he used to poke the hole with would also show up on the nannycams both coming and going.

  • pzatchok

    The hole has to be like the previous Russian one. Hidden behind something not easily moved.

    It could be a hole behind a anything bolted to the hull.

    If it was a meteor or impact then internal damage would show up.

    Could it be a seal leak between the modules?

    You know a simple Vape machine bought at any store could be all they need to find the hole.
    Isolate each module and shut down the air system for just long enough to use the vape to find the hole.
    Send a couple 20 dollar Vapes up.

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