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.

SpaceX completes 2nd launch in less than 16 hours

Capitalism in space: SpaceX tonight successfully completed its second Falcon 9 launch in less than 16 hours (the company’s shortest time between launches), putting the communications satellite Turksat-5B into orbit.

The first stage successfully landed on the drone ship, completing its third flight. Both fairings flew their second flight.

More important, this was the 30th successful launch for SpaceX in 2021, which not only continues to extend its record for the most launches ever in a single year by a private company, it also exceeds the company’s prediction of 29 launches for ’21.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

48 China
30 SpaceX
22 Russia
6 Europe (Arianespace)
5 Rocket Lab

China now leads the U.S. 48 to 47 in the national rankings. This was the 126th successful launch in 2021, putting it in a tie for the third best year in rocketry since Sputnik.


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  • wayne

    I’m seeing that SpaceX will be launching to the ISS on the 21st as well.

  • Diane Wilson

    And 99th successful landing.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Yes, Diane Wilson, that 100th recovery will be a truly amazing milestone, especially since nobody else has done it, except with a big fat * beside it!

    * suborbital inverted bungee-jump

  • Jeff Wright

    If is wasn’t for the LOX/transport/Covid crap, we’d be ahead.

  • The 99th recovery is not exactly unremarkable.

  • geoffc

    With the upcoming launch on Tuesday using a new core, this year will have flown 2 new cores, and 29 reflights. That is quite an accomplishment as well.

    29/30 so far have succesfully landed (only one not landed this year).

    Total lbs to orbit is 289tons (minus CRS on Tuesdays mass).
    Compared to last years 250t, and prior to that, the previous 3 years were about 90t each year. So 3 times the payload to orbit of just last year.

    Quite impressive. And one core at 11 flights, one at 10, and 2 at 9 is also quite impressive.

    Some amazing stats on this year.

  • Edward

    Bill Whittle, Steve Green, and Scott Ott talk about why Elon Musk is the Man of the Century: (15 minutes)
    He’s done it. He’s made it cool to be educated, intelligent, ambitious, rich, aggressive, and not put up with any crap from these politicians who’re constantly trying to snuff out people like him. I don’t think he’s ever won a participation trophy in his life.

    They like his attitude and his leadership. In essence, Musk brings world-changing ideas to life.

    SpaceX has launched twice in 16 hours. It was only a few years ago that ULA bragged about launching twice in six days, and like these Falcon launches, one was from the Eastern Range and one from the Western Range.

    It has been a long time since space exploration has advanced this much, and the rest of the world is advancing with it.

  • wayne

    Iron Man (2008)
    “Tony Stark Was Able To Build This…” scene

  • TallDave

    amazing that no one else is even close to reusable rockets even after 99 recoveries

    not even a full-scale test in the planning stage

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