On October 7 SpaceX successfully flew and landed Grasshopper on its highest flight yet, 2440 feet.

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.

On October 7 SpaceX successfully flew and landed Grasshopper on its highest flight yet, 2440 feet.

Video below the fold.


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  • America. Still home to the coolest tech in the world. And not just for the rocket, but for the commercially available camera drone that captured the flight.

  • Cotour


    Q: What was that uncontrolled flame that was burning to the side of the main engine as it came down? It appeared that something was burning on the rig.

  • Bob W

    That is probably the gas generator that drives the fuel pumps. More noticeable because the rocket is descending as opposed to ascending.

  • Tom Billings

    In particular, it was the fuel-rich exhaust from the gas generator powering the pumps. Making it fuel-rich allows for lower drive turbine temperatures and for a reducing atmosphere at the drive turbine blades, both of which contribute to a more reusable engine. That means, however, that when the exhaust is dumped overboard, it burns in any atmosphere around the rocket at the time.

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