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.
 

Russian astronauts complete spacewalk to prepare ISS for Nauka

Two Russian astronauts yesterday successfully completed an almost seven-hour spacewalk removing and repositioning equipment to prepare ISS for the arrival of Nauka next year, Russia’s next module for ISS.

The Pirs module will be removed and junked next year to make room for the research lab Nauka — Russian for “science.” Several Russian-directed spacewalks will be required to deal with all this. The plan calls for attaching a cargo ship to Pirs in order to guide it to a fiery reentry.

The new 22-ton lab — stretching 43 feet (13 meters) long — is so big that it will be launched from Kazakhstan by a powerful Proton rocket. Once at the orbiting outpost, it will double as an air lock and docking port.

Earlier it had been announced that they would also do an inspection of the area on Zvezda where they had also discovered a small crack, the cause of the longstanding leak on the station. It appears they did not do this. probably because astronauts inside the station had placed a new permanent patch on the leak, and the work they were doing during the spacewalk carried a higher priority.

Expect that inspection to eventually occur, but for now the cause of that crack remains unknown.

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.


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2 comments

  • V-Man

    What is the reason for junking the Pirs module? End of service life?

    I hope it’s not something stupid like “ran out of connection ports, gotta make room.”

  • V-Man: The latter is the answer. I also think that Pirs was a stopgap solution to provide an airlock because of the delays getting Nauka launched.

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