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.

Musk to personally review SpaceX launch procedures

Capitalism in space: As a result of the spate of launch aborts in the past few weeks, the head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is now planning a personal review of the company’s launch facilities in Florida next week.

Musk would like SpaceX to increase its cadence such that it can reach 48 launches in 2021, which would more than double the company’s previous record for total number of missions in a single year. Technical scrubs like the ones this week would prevent this. Achieving frequent launches will require smooth operations.

“We’re doing a broad review of launch site, propulsion, structures, avionics, range & regulatory constraints this weekend,” Musk tweeted. “I will also be at the Cape next week to review hardware in person.”

This review aligns with the company’s entire strategy regarding rocketry. Instead of accepting such aborts as the cost of doing business, Musk wants to review procedures to see if launches can be made more reliable.

Musk’s statement that they want to be able to do 48 launches next year is most intriguing, as it suggests, based on their manifest of launches, that they are going to launch a lot of Starlink satellites.


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  • Michael Mangold

    We’ll redouble our efforts!

  • LocalFluff

    Elon will fix the problem by walking around carrying one of his flame throwers, with ignition flame only alight for the time being, in his hand hanging down at ass hight, asking everyone:
    “- Whom should I fire?”

  • Rose

    From Kathy Lueders an hour ago:
    We’re now targeting NET early-to-mid November for launch of @NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the @Space_Station. The extra time will allow SpaceX to resolve an unexpected observation during a recent non-NASA launch attempt. More:

    From the link:
    “… additional time for SpaceX to complete hardware testing and data reviews as the company evaluates off-nominal behavior of Falcon 9 first stage engine gas generators observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt.”

    Sounds as if they are still working on the GPS mission scrub issues.

  • Andi

    Small edit: “spate of launch aborts”

  • sippin_bourbon

    Is it just me or does this decision indicate a possible systemic issue, as opposed to just a faulty sensor, or bad pump.

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