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.
 

SpaceX releases spectacular footage of another vertical take-off and landing test of their Falcon 9R rocket.

The competition heats up: SpaceX releases spectacular footage of another vertical take-off and landing test of their Falcon 9R rocket, this time flying over 3,000 feet in the air.

Video below the fold. What I think everyone, including me, has missed so far about both the Grasshopper and the Falcon 9R test flights is that the test vehicle not only was able to land safely using its rockets, both vehicles were quickly turned around and flown again. This certainly lends weight to the feasibility of the company’s plan to make their first stage reusable.


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5 comments

  • Cotour

    Very, very cool!

    Just like they used to land rocket ships on other planets in the sci fi movies of my youth.

  • t-dub

    I thought the Grasshopper was cool but this thing is amazing. It’s a reusable flying building that lands!!! Plus the fact SpaceX has leased Pad 39A for 20 years (unrelated to this project) gives me “some” hope for the future. I love this up and coming little space company, they make me happy.

  • I’m as impressed by the supporting technologies as I am the flight hardware. When the movie Apollo 13 was filmed, the production crew had to CGI the launch sequence because ‘engineers weren’t concerned with making the rocket look cool’. Now with affordable drones and HD cameras, the launches look cool, and provide unprecedented engineering data. As ‘the competition heats up’, I can see a time when companies will specialize in providing flight video for space launch concerns. This is how economies grow.

  • FYI, there already are companies specializing in providing flight videos for space launch concerns. I saw one such company give a presentation at a space engineering conference a few years ago, showing the videos they took for SpaceX during its Falcon 1 launches.

  • Pzatchok

    The cool part was the craft passing through the different wind streams.

    You can see it tilt and come back to center as it rises to its final height.

    A larger in radius rocket with a more engines would probably prove even more stable in flight.

    .

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