NASA engineers today test fired a major component of a refurbished Saturn 5 engine.

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.

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Back to the future: NASA engineers today test fired a major component of a refurbished Saturn 5 engine.


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  • Pzatchok

    I like this.

    Basically dropping back and punting.

    They know they have an engine that will do the job. In case they have to use it it will be finally be available.

    Rebuilding and then redesigning the engine using modern computer modeling and materials.

    The only problem I see the HUGE amount of fuel needed by these engines to reach their intended altitude. These engines were not intended to reach orbit. Different engines were used to do that.

    I still think multiple, improved and upgraded solid rockets like we already have, is the way to go for first stage thrust.
    But there could be a problem with that idea with the huge payloads they want to lift. Thrust might back-up into the engine(what ever its called to engineers) and could cause the engines to explode.

    I would also like to see a plan for an eventual linear accelerator for first stage lift. Something re-usable and all electric.

  • joe

    The sheer audacity of it all, that engine burns through fuel almost like the federal government burns through cash!

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