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.

The anti-satellite missile the Soviet Union designed for one of its early space stations

Link here. Apparently a prototype was actually flown in 1975 on the second successful Soviet space station, Salyut 3, a military mission. A more sophisticated version was never flown when the Soviet’s cancelled their military space station program. However, its design was most fascinating:

[L]ittle is known about the specifications and operation of the system, but, according to the Head of Science and Research Center at NPO Mashinostroenia Leonard Smirichevsky, who introduced the weapon, the vehicle’s grenade-like solid propellant charges doubled as engines! RussianSpaceWeb.com’s 3D recreation of the displayed variant established that it held 96 casings with solid propellant arranged in a globular fashion like the petals of a dandelion around a central combustion chamber. Upon their ignition, the chambers/grenades might have fed hot propulsive gas into a single or multiple combustion chambers at the center of the contraption, producing either the main thrust and/or steering the vehicle. When the missile reached the proximity of the target, according to its guiding radar, the entire vehicle would explode and the small solid chambers would eject under their own propulsive force in every direction acting as shrapnel.

The missile had a flight range of about 70 miles, and was designed to destroy any hostile satellite or spacecraft that approached the military station.

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5 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    The term “shrapnel” is totally incorrect, as it refers to a specific type of ammunition. The correct term os “splinters” or “fragments”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrapnel_shell

  • Jeff Wright

    I must hand it to the Russians here. If there ever are shots fired-I hope it hits targets from above-so as to reduce debris. This thing here should only be fired at aliens BEO! ;?

  • Ed Davis

    I’d love to contribute to this site, however? I do not do paypal nor checks. Is there another option?

  • Ed Davis

    Yeesh…always a perfectionist in this world. Would you consider calling it “FLAK”? I mean, c’mon man it IS shrapnel

  • Ed Davis: I truly appreciate your support. Unfortunately at this moment those are the only two options, though there have been a very small handful of people who gambled and mailed me cash to the post office box.

    Safer would be to get a money order from cash and mail that. All you have to make it payable to me.

    Anyway, I sincerely thank you regardless.

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