NASA has announced three awards for technology demonstration space missions, all set to fly within four years. More details here.
The three missions are:
- A solar sail demonstration mission, flying a sail 38 by 38 meter sail.
- A demonstration of in-space laser/optical communications technologies.
- The use of a high-precision atomic clock in space.
I especially like the solar sail mission because of its long range possibilities, though the other technologies would probably be put to practical use more quickly.
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
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, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit
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