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.

Private space company announces new upgraded tug for moving satellites in orbit

Capitalism in space: The private space company Spaceflight yesterday announced the development of a new upgraded tug for moving small satellites from their launched orbit to their operational locations, including locations in orbit around the Moon.

Spaceflight announced the first flight of its Sherpa-LTE orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) will take place in mid-2021. The vehicle is based on the next-generation Sherpa-FX tug announced in the summer, but equipped with the Apollo Constellation Engine, a Hall effect thruster provided by Apollo Fusion.

With that propulsion system, Sherpa-LTE will be able to generate a change in velocity, or delta-V, of more than 6 kilometers per second. That will allow the vehicle to deliver smallsats to geostationary Earth orbit, cislunar space, or Earth-escape trajectories after a launch into low Earth orbit.

Spaceflight is a direct competitor with Momentus, which already has contracts with several satellite companies for its in-space tug services. Nor is this competition bad. This new cottage industry of tugs helps focus innovation. Satellite companies can focus on improving their satellites, while buying the propulsion from tug companies who can provide that technology best.


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