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 rubberstamps Russian engines in Atlas 5 for manned flights

Surprise surprise! NASA has certified the Russian engines used in the Atlas 5 as safe for manned flights.

NASA had been claiming that, because it cannot observe every detail in how Russia builds the engines, it cannot certify them as safe for manned flight. This is, and has been, crap. The Atlas 5, with this engine, has been one of the most reliable rockets ever built.

In truth, what NASA’s bureaucracy was really doing was using these Russian engines as a wedge to slow down Boeing’s first manned flight, mainly because the commercial crew program is threatening NASA past monopoly on U.S. manned flight. Once privately built rockets and manned spacecraft fly, people are suddenly going to realize we don’t really need NASA.

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2 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    Actually, Bob, NASA does have a use, doing what predecessor NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) did. It developed technology to the point where it could be commercially useful, then turned it over to the commercial sector.

    “The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915, to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NACA was an initialism, i.e. it was pronounced as discrete letters, rather than as a whole word[1] (as was NASA during the early years after being established).[2]

    Among other advancements, NACA research and development produced the NACA duct, a type of air intake used in modern automotive applications, the NACA cowling, and several series of NACA airfoils which are still used in aircraft manufacturing.

    During World War II, NACA was described as “The Force Behind Our Air Supremacy” due to its key role in producing working superchargers for high altitude bombers, and for producing the laminar wing profiles for the North American P-51 Mustang.[3] NACA was also key in developing the area rule that is used on all modern supersonic aircraft, and conducted the key compressibility research that enabled the Bell X-1 to break the sound barrier. ”

    Look out the window of your airliner. See the winglets? From NASA Langley – the heart of the old NACA.

  • Lee S

    And there is no doubt that NASA is the world leader when it comes to robotic exploratory missions….
    But we all know Bob is talking about manned rockets… And however much paperwork they throw at SpaceX and Blue Origins, it’s only a waiting game…
    Falcon 9 and new glen ( or whatever it’s called ) will get Man rated.. as will Falcon heavy and BFR… eventually….
    Then the NASA make work program for manned missions will have to be cancelled… And hopefully the budget which has very litteraly been urinated up the wall on Orion and SLS can be reappropriated to research and robotic missions…
    And hopefully the rocket scientists can relocate to productive companies…
    It’s just a question of time…

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