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.

Texas power outages delay Starliner but not Starship

Boeing announced yesterday that due to the winter storms and power outages in Texas it has delayed the second unmanned demo flight of its Starliner manned capsule from March 25 to no earlier than April 2nd.

Meanwhile, SpaceX’s Starship operation in Boca Chica, Texas has been proceeding practically unaffected by the power outages.

At the southernmost fringes of Texas, SpaceX’s Boca Chica Starship factory hasn’t been insulated from the chaos, though a large Tesla Solar and Energy installation has almost certainly lessened the blow. Highly cognizant of Boca Chica’s shortcomings for industrial-grade power needs, SpaceX installed that solar array and Tesla-made Powerpacks almost three years ago and substantially expanded it in 2020.

As a result, despite major issues posed by freezing weather and power grid instability, SpaceX has managed to keep the lights on and continue work at its Starship factory, while also slowly but surely preparing Starship serial number 10 (SN10) for its first static fire and high-altitude launch.

The weather is clearly slowing the Starship test schedule, but at least the work seems insulated from loss of power.


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  • David Eastman

    Apparently they had a static fire planned for SN10 today, but had to cancel it. The reason is kind of interesting, there is an ongoing effort to rescue turtles from the cold, and the need to keep the road open. Apparently SpaceX employees are participating in the effort to retrieve turtles from the beach, and they are using some of the SpaceX buildings as temporary warm housing.

    This NPR (I know) article has some details:

  • “Highly cognizant of Boca Chica’s shortcomings for industrial-grade power needs . . .”

    I had to laugh, because I’ve read (and written) reports with very similar language.

    “It’s out in the sticks!”

  • Cotour

    So much for Global warming, its Climate change that is the term that covers all potentials.

    “It’s very rare for weather issues to shut down a nuclear plant,” said Brett Rampal, director of nuclear innovation at the Clean Air Task Force. “Some equipment in some nuclear plants in Texas has not been hardened for extreme cold weather because there was never a need for this.”

    If there becomes more potential for extreme cold weather and less potential for extreme warmer weather, what exactly does that say about those who have taken a position on the Climate and extreme weather and what needs to be done about it? This does not exactly add up, much like most every and all issues that the Left and the Democrats promote as “Science” and what they allegedly base their positions on.

    Lies, lies and more lies.

  • LocalFluff

    To be fair, Boca Chica Beach is the southern most place in the US. And perhaps they have a cable connection to Mexico.

  • LocalFluff

    Texas senator Ted Cruz vacationing in sunny Mexico during the energy crisis. That doesn’t look no much good.

    Investment advisor to his client on the phone:
    “- I recommend this package with FED bonds hedged with gold and Mexican pesos.
    – Did you say Mexico?
    – Yeah. Mexico.
    – Okay, I’ll take it.”

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