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.

Two launches scheduled for tonight, 27 minutes apart

The numerous launch scrubs this past week has created an unprecedented situation tonight, two orbital launches scheduled only 27 minutes apart from two different East Coast spaceports.

First Northrop Grumman will try again to launch its Cygnus cargo freighter to ISS from Wallops Island, Virginia, with the launch scheduled for 9:12 pm (Eastern). The first launch attempt last night was aborted 2:21 seconds before liftoff “after receiving off-nominal data from ground support equipment.”

Second, SpaceX will try to launch two Air Force GPS satellites from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the launch scheduled for 9:43 pm (Eastern). This launch has been delayed several times because of the repeated launch scrubs of ULA’s Delta 4 Heavy rocket, attempting to launch a military reconnaissance satellite. ULA’s launch had priority for the range, but with it delayed due to the investigation over the T-7 second launch abort on September 30th, the SpaceX’s GPS launch moves up in line.

The first will be live streamed on NASA TV, the second by SpaceX. I have embedded the live streams for both below the fold.


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  • sippin_bourbon

    Wallops. Clear skies this evening. 4mph winds predicted.
    Cape. 90-100% cloud cover, minimal chance of rain. 5-6 mph winds.

    I do not know how far down range the weather must remain favorable.
    It looks like drone ship recovery so winds and seas must be favorable there as well.
    Currently okay for the Cape, according to SpaceX twitter.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I wonder what the contractual arrangements are between USSF and SpaceX insofar as expending boosters. Can USSF demand “Launch at first opportunity, regardless of whether there is the ability to recover the booster or not!”?

  • GWB

    Wallops Island launched successfully. I watched it go by down in SE Virginia. Cool. :)
    I’m glad I left this up all day, or I would have forgotten and missed it.

  • Rob

    Bummer on the SpaceX scrub. I wonder if it takes a huge set of brass balls to scrub at T-2.

  • V-Man

    Falcon 9 scrubbed for the day. Not sure yet about the issue.

    It’s getting worrisome, though. Weather I could understand, but repeated technical bugs on such a mature design? Maybe Elon transferred too many top people to Starship…

  • sippin_bourbon

    I am more concerned that two important national security payloads cannot get off the ground.

  • Willi

    There’s an ironical typo ar 12:03, during the Lockheed-Martin promotional material. The word “commercial” is misspelled.

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