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.

Local Texas city council votes to keep spaceport

The Midland, Texas city council today voted to renew its contract with the company managing its spaceport there.

The council voted 6-1 to renew its contract with SilverWing Enterprises, an aerospace consulting company that manages Midland’s spaceport license. The one vote came from Spencer Robnett, who has been public with his belief that the spaceport needs to be shut down.

“Yeah I don’t think it would ever have a chance in Midland,” Robnett said. “I do think the space business and space technology and aerospace sector is evolving. There’s a lot of money being invested in it by billionaires, Bezos, Musk, and Branson. Unfortunately we don’t have a billionaire in Midland chasing aerospace investment. We’ve got a small economic development corporation that takes direction from the city council.”

Robnett might have a point. Midland’s spaceport had been the base of operations for XCOR’s Lynx, and with XCOR bankrupt and gone there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest by anyone else in flying any rockets from there. Part of their problem is their location, which is far from the coast and would likely limit the launch options in order to avoid populated areas.

The question has to be: What does Midland offer to rocket companies that other spaceports don’t? Until they can provide an answer to that question, the money the council is spending on this spaceport is probably going to waste.

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5 comments

  • FC

    It has the lucrative Midland to Odessa suborbital route.

  • Col Beausabre

    Bob – “would likely limit the launch options in order to avoid populated areas”

    Maybe they can talk the Chinese into using it…they might even view that as a plus.

  • It appears Councilman Robnett understands how capitalism works.

    @FC: that’s funny.

  • pzatchok

    In my mind this is like Peru building a billion dollar Olympic stadium.

    Will it ever be used?

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “The question has to be: What does Midland offer to rocket companies that other spaceports don’t?

    That is an important question for any free market operation.

    Mojave Spaceport has a long history of technical development and plenty of neighborly engineers whose brains can be picked in order to solve a problem — a big plus. Unfortunately it is located in California, a huge minus, which is exactly why XCOR had decided to develop Lynx in California but operate it elsewhere.

    I think that if California didn’t have such idiots running the asylum, few other states would be able to compete in any way with alternate spaceports.

    So one answer is that Midland offers being not California. But then, so does every other non-Mojave spaceport.

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