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 launches 60 more Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX today successfully launched another sixty Starlink satellites, bringing the total in orbit to over 800.

The company also recovered the first stage, completing its third flight. The fairings were to be picked up in the ocean, rather than caught in a ship’s net, as the last launch one fairing broke the net. SpaceX engineers might have determined ocean recovery is now safer and sufficient for reuse.

This was also the company’s 100th successful launch and its 63rd successful first stage recovery.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

26 China
18 SpaceX
11 Russia
4 Europe (Arianespace)

The U.S. now leads China 28 to 26 in the national rankings.


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  • Steve Richter

    regarding the upper stage, is it possible for a rocket launch to consist of the 1st stage and its fuel, payload of the mission, then the fuel for an upper stage? The idea being that an orbiting upper stage from a prior launch deorbits enough to come down and match the speed and rendezvous with the just launched rocket, takes on the upper stage fuel + payload of that launch, then proceeds to take the payload up to its final destination.

    The savings being both the cost of the upper stage and the weight of the upper stage, that does not have to be launched from Earth time and again.

    This article says Falcon 9 upper stages stay in orbit for 2 – 6 months, at which point they disintegrate on reentry.

  • wayne

    100 SpaceX Launches– all at once
    Khoa Kiro Kun
    September 2020

    – 5 Falcon 1
    – 92 Falcon 9
    – 3 Falcon Heavy

  • wayne

    100 Successful Flights
    SpaceX, October 24, 2020

  • Diane Wilson

    45th launch of a “flight-proven” Falcon 9.

  • Jay

    Steve Richter,
    Have you been watching the SpaceX Super-Heavy development? Both stages will (I typed “are” at first, correction with “will be”) be re-usable. The disposable upper stage will be a thing of the past.
    I see the SpaceX Engineer’s accomplishments are beautiful and dare I say that the Super-Heavy will be a piece of art in my eyes.

  • Steve Richter

    “… Both stages will (I typed “are” at first, correction with “will be”) be re-usable. …”

    cool. good to know.

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