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.

More launch delays from Russia

Russia has decided to delay one of three commercial Soyuz rocket launches to 2019 due to unspecified “readiness” issues.

The launch of Soyuz-ST launch vehicle with a European satellite was initially scheduled for October 6, a source in the aerospace industry told Interfax. “However, evaluating relevant conditions and the launch vehicle’s readiness, the decision was made to move the launch to November 6,” the source said.

In all, three Russian launch vehicles were expected to take off from the Kourou Space Center by the yearend. Italy’s CSG-1 satellite was scheduled to be launched in November, which was to be followed by the launch of OneWeb’s pilot mini-satellites. Due to the delay of the European weather-forecasting satellite’s launch, the launch of two more rockets from Kourou was endangered. “One of the three launches has to be postponed until next year. This is most likely to be Italy’s CSG-1 satellite. However, a lift-off of satellites under the contract with OneWeb may be adjourned,” he said.

In addition, there was this story (behind a paywall) that noted that the only Proton-M launch in 2018 will also be delayed until 2019.

While such delays in rocket launches are not unusual and are an accepted part of the business, these delays for Russia do not help them. The technical problems in recent years that have caused many launch failures, combined with these delays, will further encourage their international customers to go elsewhere.

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  • Chaim Arnstein

    Bob; How then, is it, that when it comes to military rocketry, ICBMs, hypersonic vehicles, etc., Russia’s corruption, bureacracy, etc., don’t seem to be causing the same failures?

  • Chaim Arnstein: When it comes to its military rocketry, the failures are easier to hide since the rockets are meant to explode, and often miss their targets simply because hitting the target can be hard.

    I think that if Russia ever got into a war with the U.S. using only conventional weapons, they would be in trouble technologically very quickly. They would only survive, as they have in the past, by the largeness and coldness of their nation.

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