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.
 

Orbital ATK developing new rocket

Capitalism in space: Orbital ATK is developing a new rocket, based on the solid rocket technology it provided for the space shuttle, to compete with SpaceX and ULA.

Two versions of the rocket are planned. The medium-lift variant will have a two-segment, solid-fuel first-stage motor and a single-segment, solid second. The heavy lifter will have a four-segment first stage and a single-segment second. Both versions can be outfitted with strap-on boosters for extra lift capacity, Orbital representatives said.

To complete the rocket’s development the company says it needs to win a follow-up contract that the Air Force has been issuing to help ween the U.S. from the use of Russian rocket engines.

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2 comments

  • fred

    > To complete the rocket’s development the company says it needs to win a follow-up contract that the Air Force has been issuing to help ween the U.S. from the use of Russian rocket engines.

    LOL.

    Goin to the trough for some good, ol’ gov’t pork.

    What a joke. It is an existing SRB, paid for with NASA pork and they want AF pork to pay for it again? It’s an SRB … not at all what the engine pork is intended for.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Actually, it isn’t an SRB. That seemed to be the original plan when this NGL project was first broached awhile back. The segments will be the same size as Shuttle/SLS SRB segments, and they’ll still be expendable, but the propellant formulation is different and the cases are filament-wound carbon fiber composites, not metal. The NGL is, emphatically, not going to be a repurposing of Shuttle/SLS bits. I hope that proves to be a good thing. It will certainly be a different thing.

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