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.

NASA has chosen the four shuttle engines that will be used to launch SLS on its first mission in 2021.

What a waste: NASA has chosen the four shuttle engines that will be used to launch SLS on its first mission in 2021.

All four engines were used multiple times on many shuttle missions. They will fly once on SLS, at a cost of many billions, and then end up destroyed when that giant rocket’s first stage falls into the ocean. Worse, no one has really defined what the goal of that first launch will be. It might merely be a test launch, with no humans on board.

To me, it would be wiser to put the engines into storage and wait until we have a new reusable capability that could take advantage of the reusable engineering of these engines. Throwing them away on a pork-barrel boondoggle like SLS seems so stupid.


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  • Orion314

    Hoping for intelligent managment from any USG agency is asking for a lot….from the White House on down, our govt keeps acting as though they have a blank check , and card blanche’….

  • Steve C

    2021 is a long way away for a NASA plan. How long has it been since one of their projects has gotten much past the “Pretty Picture” stage?

  • Pzatchok

    They are just doing this in hopes that it will make a first launch date a bit closer to Space X’s proposed manned flight date.

    Its all they have. They have no new engines on the table and these areal ready built tested and NASA approved.

  • Kelly Starks

    Well NASA did want to destroy and discredit reusable launchers to keep launch costs up – so it kind of fits policy.

    Frankly having the Orbiters grounded is bad enough but we’re lucky they didn’t scrap them!

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