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.
 

New supersonic passenger plane coming?

Boom! A new aviation company thinks it can develop a new supersonic passenger plane with ticket prices far less than the Concorde’s.

If you’re ever stuck on a plane pining for the glory days of air travel, hop on YouTube and search for “the Concorde.” Among the results are a bunch of firsthand accounts of people sipping Champagne and scarfing down caviar on one of the bygone supersonic jets while they travel at 1,300 miles an hour. Try to appreciate the joy on their faces, or at least remember that they paid as much as $20,000 round trip, while you’re crammed into a middle seat with nothing but a dollop of hummus and a few overpriced crackers to get you through the next few hours.

Or perhaps find some solace in this: A Denver startup called Boom Technology plans to bring supersonic passenger travel back, and to bring it to the masses … ish. While the finished product is years away, on March 23, Boom will unveil its design for a 40-seat plane that can fly 1,451 mph (Mach 2.2). At that speed, a New York-to-London flight would take about 3 hours and 24 minutes. Blake Scholl, Boom’s founder and chief executive officer, says round-trip tickets will cost $5,000. “The idea is for a plane that goes faster than any other passenger plane built before, but for the same price as business class,” he says.

The project is barely past the PowerPoint stage, so color me skeptical. Nonetheless, I also believe it is possible, especially when I noticed in reading the article the similarities between between this company’s founder and that of SpaceX’s.

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