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.
 

Russia launches new GPS-type satellite

Russia today successfully launched another one of its GPS-type Glonass satillites, using its Soyuz-2 rocket lifting off from its Plesetsk spaceport.

This was the first launch of this type of satellite in more than five years due to an inability to get parts because of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In response, the Russian government instituted an export-replacement program aimed at providing indigenously produced electronics for the nation’s industries. The effort was complicated by the need in some cases to build entire factories virtually from scratch.

Around 2016, ISS Reshetnev, the prime developer of GLONASS satellites, began re-designing the GLONASS-K variant for the Russian-built components. It is unclear to what extent the original GLONASS-K series relied on foreign components, but the new batch of spacecraft did not come out of assembly until the end of the 2010s.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

26 China
18 SpaceX
12 Russia
4 ULA
4 Europe

The U.S. continues to lead China 28 to 26 in the national rankings.

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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.


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2 comments

  • mpthompson

    In response, the Russian government instituted an export-replacement program aimed at providing indigenously produced electronics for the nation’s industries.

    Are the lessons to learn here for the U.S. as we look to decouple from China?

  • LocalFluff

    @mpthompson
    Apparently not any good ones.

    “Import replacement” was popular 50 years ago when there still existed general industries and queuing voting general workers outside of their doors. And expert engineers in the Western World worried that:
    “- Oh yeah, perhaps you can suddenly do this what I learned from my parents and on the greatest universities. Perhaps you there in Argentina suddenly can “replace” me with your do-it-yourself-stuff? I am really afraid now. But not much.”

    It doesn’t work like that today with extreme specialization, especially in extreme technologies. Maybe in Russia today it does, I don’t think so but I don’t know. Let me try to think now. Kleptocracy. Home made. Hmm. I actually do know that it won’t work!

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