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.

Long March 5B core stage falls to Earth

Around 10:15 pm (Eastern) the Long March 5B core stage reentered the atmosphere over the Arabian Peninsula, with pieces landing in the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives to the southwest of India.

China has attempted to minimize its behavior here, claiming that most of the rocket burned up and that the chance of any damage was low. Big deal! If you are a responsible spacefaring nation you don’t build rockets that are designed to do this.

Remember, at least three more Long March 5B launches are scheduled in the next the years. As presently designed all will dump that core stage somewhere on Earth in an entirely uncontrolled manner.


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  • Alex Andrite

    “… The issue here is not the danger, but China’s gross negligence and violation of its treaty obligations …”

    (Treaty obligations ? TREATY OBLIGATIONS ? …….. WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN ……..”)

    oh … sorry. Perhaps I am being to critical, but then I am (fully) aware, after having worked there as a field service rep for a U.S. / Japanese assembly equipment company, that the CCP considers our belief in their lies, ….
    our Problem, not theirs.

    They lie. We believe. Stupid us.

  • eddie willers

    Larry the Cable Guy had a Tweet yesterday with the odds of where the rocket would come down.

    Land – 5 %
    Water – 11 %
    Wile E Coyote – 84 %

  • Jeff Wright

    The best photos of the LM (CZ)-5 first stage are at Spaceflight 101’s article “China’s new Heavy Lift Rocket rolls to Hainan Island Launch Pad for Shakedown Mission” and at the website “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” story:
    “China’s Ambitious Space Program.”

    You might want to see if Charles Vick or Mark Wade made any drawings of the first stage by itself—compared to some old Scuds (hypergolic V-2s essentially) for comparison…seeing as the LM-5 core also flew right over Riyadh as per Marco Langbroek at

  • deadrody

    “If you are a responsible spacefaring nation…”

    Well, seems like the problem is that everyone knows China is no such thing. We can wish and hope and lament and wring our hands, but the reality is, this is how China acts. Better to deal with the reality than with for another.

  • MDN

    So where is our government in lodging a formal complaint about this with the UN or whatever international body administers the treaty? We MUST push for the rule of law, or you know the next step will certainly be to ignore treaty obligations colonizing the moon and elsewhere.

  • David M. Cook

    – MDN The Biden administration has been told to keep it‘s mouth shut by president Xi.

  • Kevin Harte

    Has it been ascertained the distance from any sea vessel or human being the point of splashdown? What happens when people are injured and property is damaged? Does the CCP have any scruples or responsible stance on this? The CCP is not a friend to the world community.

  • Edward

    A smart country learns from its own mistakes. A wise country learns from other countries’s mistakes. Since China has been dropping expended stages on its own citizens and other countries have had this same uncontrolled reentry problem but have learned to solve it, China is neither wise nor smart.

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