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 assembly of Boeing’s CST-100 manned spacecraft is expected to begin soon.

The competition heats up: The assembly of Boeing’s CST-100 manned spacecraft is expected to begin soon.

Boeing takes over the OPF-3 lease in late June 2014 following an official handover ceremony from Space Florida. Assembly begins soon thereafter. … “The pieces are coming one by one from all over the country,” Ferguson explained. “Parts from our vendors are already starting to show up for our test article. “Assembly of the test article in Florida starts soon.”

Granted, Boeing’s lease for its assembly space at Kennedy has not yet started, but the vagueness of the assembly start date is a bit curious, and suggests that Boeing won’t begin assembly until they know they have won the contract from NASA, the announcement of which is presently scheduled for late summer 2014.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • Pzatchok

    I like how they say they have not started building it yet but all the parts and sud assemblies are showing up already.

    Back in WWII transport ship builders would hold contests between each other and even their own shifts to see who could build and launch a ship faster.
    They eventually ended up putting all the sub assemblies on the dock and then racing to assemble them in under 24 hours. ( don’t remember the final fastest time)
    The whole time claiming they were building the whole ship in those few hours. But if you added all the time it took to build and deliver all the sub assemblies it took months.

    Now Boeing is doing pretty much the same thing. Getting everything this far has taken years of work and expense.
    But soon they will be able to claim it only took them a year to actually build the ship and it only cost a years worth of money.
    Then they will use those number to try to claim they can do the same job as other private companies only better and for the same low price.

    They are still using the most expensive manufacturing process on the planet for something that could be redesigned to be built cheaper.
    As long as that good government money is coming in they are going to charge like a good government contractor. Out the wazoo.

  • Pithole Hermit

    I’ve been wondering why I am seeing lots of Boeing commercials on Hulu. Seems strange to advertise to me since I have no plans on buying anything from Boeing. Maybe it is a government contract thing.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *