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.

Ray Bradbury tells it like it is

In this Los Angeles Times profile just before his 90th birthday on August 22, Ray Bradbury tells it like it is. Some key quotes:

We should never have left [the Moon]. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever.

I think our country is in need of a revolution. There is too much government today. We’ve got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.

We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.

Readers!
 

I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.


Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652
 

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.

3 comments

  • Kelly Starks

    With one voice he calls for grand (and hollow) gesrtures of massive Moon and Mars colony programs – then says “We have too many machines now.”?!!

  • hehe, old man is inconsistent :)

    Sometimes when I meet people who rant and rave like this, and when they’re actually capable of paying attention and setting aside their preconceived notions for a few minutes, I ask them:

    Q: how long do you think it will take NASA to get back to the Moon?
    A: it shouldn’t take any longer than Apollo did.
    Q: ahh, but NASA isn’t now what it was back then, have you seen how bureaucratic and risk adverse they are now?
    A: yes, I have, but they don’t need to be!
    Q: sure, but they are. So, to get to the Moon you need 3 things.. a booster, a capsule and a lander. Which should NASA work on first?
    A: all of them, at the same time!
    Q: according to history, that’s what happened in Apollo, but it didn’t really. The booster was developed first, 3 different capsules were developed next, and the lander was developed last and was late. So what order should NASA do it in this time?
    A: That order sounds reasonable, but more has been done on the Orion capsule than on the booster or the landers.
    Q: well, we have better boosters today than they had during Apollo, they would have drooled over the boosters which are available on the commercial market today. Why not use those?
    A: we can’t! We need heavy lift!
    Q: why? Because Apollo used heavy lift?
    A: yes! You can’t do anything beyond LEO without heavy lift!
    Q: ok, but let’s say NASA spends 10 years developing heavy lift and a capsule to go on top, should they use it to go anywhere while spending another 10 years developing a lander?
    A: there’s no-where else to go! Any other mission is a waste of time!
    Q: really? Apollo-8 went around the Moon, and didn’t need a lander to do it, was that a waste of time?
    A: no, but it had never been done before.
    Q: well, it’s not been done for almost 37 years, I think it’s time we did it again, don’t you?
    A: yes, but that can’t be the end, we need to push on and land on the Moon.
    Q: ok, but if it’s going to take 10 years to develop landers, shouldn’t we use the booster and the capsule to go somewhere? shouldn’t we spend some time thinking about where we can go without a lander and what important things we might do there?
    A: yeah, I guess.

    But I often never get to the end of this reasoning.

  • Kelly Starks

    A lot of your reasoning is just assumptions.

    ==Q: ahh, but NASA isn’t now what it was back then, have you seen how bureaucratic and risk adverse they are now?

    They are what they are ordered to be by Washington. now they are under civil service labor and management rules, that promotes waste and timidity – and makes them unaccountable to congress or the public. In the ‘60’s that was waved.

    Or you could have it done for NASA by commercials without NASA involvement, and “oversight”. Purchased commercially it would be much cheaper and somewhat faster, adn you wouldn’t need to shake the chains of any civil servants..

    >== to get to the Moon you need 3 things.. a booster, a capsule and a lander.
    > Which should NASA work on first?

    #1 – your assuming a particular design, and not a good one at that, so its a invalid question.

    #2 – why should NASA develop any of them?

    >= A: all of them, at the same time!

    Good answer.

    > Q: according to history, that’s what happened in Apollo, but it didn’t really.
    > The booster was developed first, 3 different capsules were developed next,
    > and the lander was developed last and was late. ==

    Not exactly true. Design work on Mercury, and Apollo’s capsules, and the Saturn’s started in the ‘50’s, LEM and Gemini started in the ‘60’s after the space race was announced.

    >==we have better boosters today than they had during Apollo, they would
    > have drooled over the boosters which are available on the commercial market today.

    Really? How were they so much better then the Titan’s in production in the ‘50’s?

    >== You can’t do anything beyond LEO without heavy lift!

    Griffinesta thinking.

    ;)

    >==
    > A: there’s no-where else to go! Any other mission is a waste of time!

    Lunatic thinking.

    ;)

    >= Apollo-8 went around the Moon, and didn’t need a lander to do it, was that
    > a waste of time?

    Lets get real – it was a PR stunt not even included in the mission plan’s until they were afraid the Russians were going to do something big and scoop them..

    >== if it’s going to take 10 years to develop Landers, shouldn’t we use the
    > booster and the capsule to go somewhere? shouldn’t we spend some time
    > thinking about where we can go without a lander and what important things
    > we might do there?

    Actually you never stopped anywhere in here to think about anything important. Like what is necessary to open up space to large scale use and development?
    What do you want to do on the Moon, and hence what equipment do you need to do it? Flags and footprints, and you just need a LEM. If you want a big permanently manned base your going to need something more no the scale of the Eagles in Space:1999, or the craft in 2001 a space Odyssey.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *