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.

NASA contracts two research flights using Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

NASA has signed a contract with Virgin Galactic to use SpaceShipTwo for two suborbital research flights.

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  • Joe2

    Great, having destroyed our orbital human space flight capability; we will do our research on suborbital flights.

    Then when that capability is gone, we can use drop towers.

    I could not begin to tell you how excited I am.

  • Tom Billings

    Give up this crack-brained idea that *anything* that does not push ever bigger and higher *right*now* is not spaceflight, Joe2.

    Some of us have been trying to get NASA to pay attention to cheap sub-orbital research that will let concepts not proven enough for the expenditure to get all the way to orbit have a chance at demonstrating their worth for,…oh, …no more than 45 years. The statist desire for bigger projects that allow empire-building among the upper bureaucrats in NASA is expectable inside the bureaucracy. However, it does not get us what so many of us want,…personal participation in spaceflight.

    Even those, like myself, who oppose Obama on [ractically *every* other policy he has are willing to follow the old Turkish proverb,…”When you find you are on the wrong road,…no matter how long you have been on it, …go back to the fork and take the other road!”

    The statist road is never going to get *me*, or anyone like me, into Space.

    Since Obama doesn’t care about Space, and was willing to turn NASA over to backers who *do* care about spaceflight beyond civil servants, why not take the different road, …different from one that for 40 years has *refused*to*allow*us*to*build*what*we*want*?

    What the statist road has done is build a higher bureaucracy of turf warriors that, between 1979 and 2004, did everything they could to keep any competition to their designs and their operations from being able to launch. This started as early as the 1979 campaign against Space Services Inc.,,…..”Max,..ya gotta help us,…these guys are amateurs, who’ll make all space tech look bad by blowing up rockets again and again.”

    As if NASA had not done just that when it was learning the ropes.

    I have heard the excuse that SLS and monsters like it are essential to American Exceptionalism, …that is twaddle. American Exceptionalism is *not* built on the actions of the State, but on the freedoms of the individual! Since the higher bureaucracy of NASA has long ago decided that only *they* should say what goes into Space, especially if it involves Human Spaceflight, then I have no use for their empire-building, or the large projects that go with it, or the contractors who want to suck off them.

  • Joe2

    “Give up this crack-brained idea that *anything* that does not push ever bigger and higher *right*now* is not spaceflight, Joe2.”

    I have asked this question before to no avail. But I will ask it again. Why do you guys feel the necessity to stoop to personal insults (“crack-brained”) to try to prove a point?

    We used to have an orbital capability now we do not.

    So we will bet on having a suborbital capability to do what? If you were to produce a result that might indicate a useful process to be done in orbit, will that magically reproduce the lost orbital capability?

    Then we are back to the libertarian rhetoric about statist policy. Have that conversation with somebody who cares, I am interested in results not polemics.

    By the way you are the second poster (the first was I believe called “wade”) to bring up American Exceptionalism, which I have never mentioned. Why is that?

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