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.

Roscosmos head: Russia to launch 29 rockets in ’21

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, announced yesterday that they expect to complete 29 launches in 2021.

These numbers include all Russia’s launches, including the ones done for Arianespace in French Guiana. In my regular launch updates I don’t count those as Russian launches, as they are run and controlled by Arianespace, under Arianespace contracts.

Nonetheless, there should be an increase in the number of Russian launches in ’21, as they should resume OneWeb launches that were halted last year due to that company going into bankruptcy and then recovering. That bankruptcy meant that Russia’s total launches last year were less than half what they predicted.

The increase in ’21 does not mean Russia will successfully complete 29 launches. Rogozin and Roscosmos have for years routinely overstated their goals, and I think they are doing so again. I expect Russia to complete around 20-25 launches by the end of the year. If they top 25 it would make ’21 their best year since ’15.

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