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 offers public chance to experience next manned mission virtually

NASA is now offering the general public the opportunity to virtually experience the next manned Dragon flight to ISS, set to launch on November 14th.

“Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates and opportunities normally reserved for on-site guests,” NASA officials wrote in a statement on Tuesday (Nov. 3). “NASA’s virtual launch experience for Crew-1 includes curated launch resources, a digital boarding pass, notifications about NASA social interactions and the opportunity for a virtual launch passport stamp following a successful launch,” the agency added.

While much of this will be fun to do, much of it is also pure hype, designed to sell NASA to the public, even though the mission is being launched and run almost entirely by the private commercial company SpaceX, not NASA.


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  • Marcus

    Seems like a good sign to me. I’d love to see a bunch of companies hype their launch experiences, while all using SpaceX (and hopefully sometime soon some competitors) rockets. I think it would mean that space travel is getting closer to what airline travel is now.

  • Spectrum Shift

    I hope NASA doesn’t forget the virtual “Tang” OJ for everybody!

  • janyuary

    These interesting times are where “virtual” is a mere change of medium used for the same purposes that media from drums to print to broadcast to social, have done since men first began communicating to large groups of other men.

    This new digitally grounded virtual life however adds a Dzahnibekov dynamic to how media affects its consumers’ s societies and worth. One “virtually” explores risk-free by way of GPS and aps, where once an individual risked much and used maps, compasses, and brainpower. One “virtually” tunes an instrument via eyesight on a digital tuner, a virtual replacement for the human ear which served to tune all instruments for all centuries prior.

    What appears as an advance is actually a regression with “virtual,” I suspect.

  • Ian C.

    For those interested in watching something else than SpaceX or NASA, here’s a three-year old recording from inside Blue Origin’s capsule.

    Mannequin Skywalker’s ride to space onboard Crew Capsule 2.0

  • A CLPS mission should place a pole with a 360° camera on top and the power & broadcasting equipment very close to the landing zone of the first crew landing sites. In this way, people on Earth could be virtually present when the historic lunar return missions take place.

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