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.

Starliner launch set for Friday, December 20

Capitalism in space: The first orbital flight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule, remains on target for launch this coming Friday, December 20, 2019.

The launch is presently set for 6:36 am (Eastern), with a docking at ISS early the next day.

NASA will be broadcasting the launch and docking.

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  • geoffc

    Since this is joyously a competition between two commercial companies, it is worth noting that SpaceX did their first flight of Crew Dragon to the ISS March 2019, almost 10 months ago.

    Context is helpful.

  • Captain Emeritus

    If this Russian-Powered Atlas 5 screws the pooch, well then, back to the drawing board for a couple of years of review, until the NASA paper reports generated equals the weight of the Starliner.
    Meanwhile, SpaceX could totally resupply our ISS without any Soyuz help, and is long overdue to fly crews to the outpost.
    Boeing has enough on its plate with the 737.
    Also, why are they going to launch with the capsule abort system inert?
    When/if the Atlas CATO’s (catastrophic take-off), what better endorsement for the Starliner than a successful escape?
    Can the Starliner also fit on a Falcon 9?
    With the Atlas 5, it appears they can make it fit on anything. (what an ugly rocket!) ;-)

  • Diane Wilson

    Captain Emeritus, Atlas 5 has a better reliability record than Falcon 9. Just saying.

    Yes, it is ugly.

  • Mike Borgelt

    I’d fly on a Falcon 9 any day in preference to an Atlas 5. Who needs large firecrackers attached to the first stage?

  • Col Beausabre

    Mike Boggett, Why the preference ? Just saying you’ll take one over the other is not informative.

  • Mike Borgelt

    You can’t turn the solids off. Just like the Shuttle. Bad idea for piloted rockets. And my name is Borgelt.

  • Captain Emeritus

    OK, Diane, you got me.
    Latest data I can find shows 80 Atlas 5 launches
    With 79 successes for a 98.75% rate.
    Also, 80 Falcon 9 launches with 78 successful
    flights equals a 98.5% rate.
    UAL has to buy it’s success from the Ruskies
    and charges anywhere from $120-150million per expendable flight. (Depending on configuration)
    Falcon 9 has LANDED 47 of its boosters so far.
    (and all American made)
    I can get you a good deal on a slightly scorched, flight proven Falcon 9 for roughly $50 million for your next project.
    A far better use of American taxpayer dollars.
    I will not do any business with communists or socialists.
    Let them thrive in their own repressive regimes.

  • Captain Emeritus

    Col Beausabre,
    I think Mr. Borgelt would agree that our loss of the Challenger and 7 national treasures in 1986
    is reason enough, to never again to risk American lives on solid rocket boosters.

  • Mike Borgelt


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