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.
 

Rocket Lab will try to recover 1st stage on next launch

Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab announced today that it will attempt to recover the 1st stage of its Electron rocket on its next launch, using parachutes to slow its descent into the ocean and then fishing from the sea.

On its next mission set for liftoff later this month, Rocket Lab will try to recover the first stage of its Electron small satellite launcher after parachuting into the Pacific Ocean downrange from the company’s privately-run spaceport in New Zealand, officials announced Thursday.

The attempt to retrieve the Electron rocket’s first stage moves Rocket Lab closer to eventually capturing falling boosters in mid-air with a helicopter, then reusing the hardware. The reuse initiative is aimed at increasing Rocket Lab’s flight rate, and could result in cost savings, according to Peter Beck, the company’s founder and CEO.

The flight is presently scheduled for November 15 from New Zealand. It appears the goal with this recovery is not to reuse the 1st stage, but to recover it so they can determine how it fared during re-entry. For re-use they will capture the first stage using a helicopter, before splashdown and is exposed to saltwater.

When they attempt the helicopter capture on an actual launch remains unclear.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. 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.


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