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 suspends Starship lunar lander contract award due to protests

Because of the protests filed by both Blue Origin and Dynetics, NASA has temporarily suspended the contract with SpaceX for using its Starship spaceship for manned lunar landings.

NASA now has told SpaceX to stop work until GAO determines the outcome. A NASA spokesperson provided this statement to SpacePolicyOnline.com this afternoon. “Pursuant to the GAO protests, NASA instructed SpaceX that progress on the HLS contract has been suspended until GAO resolves all outstanding litigation related to this procurement.” The issuance of the stop work order was first reported by Space News.

GAO has 100 days — until August 4, 2021 — to make a decision.

The odds are very likely that the GAO will reject both protests, but not certain. Meanwhile expect SpaceX to continue development of Starship regardless, as they already have about $6 billion in private investment capital in the bank for this project.

I also will predict that should GAO accept the protests and force NASA to reopen the bids, neither Blue Origin nor Dynetics will be able to make an offer that matches SpaceX anyway. And if they do win a contract, I predict that SpaceX will still launch and land on the Moon before them, based on their track records versus SpaceX’s.

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3 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    This is part of the usual Kabuki theater when a contract is awarded. The loser ALWAYS protests. Hey, lawyers have to make a living – who cares if it delays programs and costs money

  • Jeff Wright

    Ugh…,

  • PR

    “I also will predict that should GAO accept the protests and force NASA to reopen the bids, neither Blue Origin nor Dynetics will be able to make an offer that matches SpaceX anyway. And if they do win a contract, I predict that SpaceX will still launch and land on the Moon before them,”

    Talk about playing it safe – I would say those are some of the safest predictions ever!

  • LAG

    I worry that the current administration’s desire to feed the bureaucracy will not bode well for Musk and SpaceX. He does not seem to suffer fools and they know it. This or something like it will probably constitute an opening shot.

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