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The space shuttle program officially ended on Wednesday

The space shuttle program officially ended on Wednesday. Note however:

Closeout of the shuttle program is an enormous effort expected to take two years. The program occupied 640 facilities and used more than 900,000 pieces of equipment with a value exceeding $12 billion, according to NASA. Much of the work will take place at Kennedy Space Center, where orbiters have been maintained and prepared for launch. NASA requested $89 million for shuttle transition and retirement work in the 2012 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, but Congress has not yet approved a budget.

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.

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