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.

Successfully first launch of China’s Long March 5B

The new colonial movement: China today successfully completed the first launch of its Long March 5B rocket, the rocket it plans to use to launch its future manned and planetary missions as well as the modules of its first space station.

The payload was the first unmanned test flight of their new upgraded manned capsule, still unnamed. It is expected that this capsule will return to Earth in the next day or so.

China’s next-generation crew carrier is also reusable for up to 10 flights, with a detachable heat shield built to handle higher-temperature returns through Earth’s atmosphere, such as those a capsule would encounter on a re-entry from a lunar mission.

The Xinhua news agency reported the primary purpose of the crew capsule test flight is to verify the ship’s re-entry technologies, such as its heat shield and recovery system. The capsule will return under parachutes and inflate airbags to cushion its landing on solid ground.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

7 China
6 SpaceX
6 Russia

The U.S. still leads China 10 to 7 in the national rankings.

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2 comments

  • V-Man

    Their new spacecraft looks a lot like a Dragon.

    A simple case of “function defines form” — or something more nefarious at hand?

  • V-Man: Actually, the basic design concepts were copied from Russia’s Soyuz capsule. This does not mean however that China didn’t incorporate concepts stolen from the new American capsules.

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