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.

UAE outlines new plans in space

The new colonial movement: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had put forth a new set of goals in its space program, including sending another astronaut to space, sending an unmanned probe to the Moon, and encouraging the development of UAE-built Earth resource smallsats.

The lunar mission is targeted to launch in 2024, and it appears they wish to build it entirely themselves, rather than subcontract American companies and universities to do the bulk of the work, as they did for the Hope Mars orbiter. It appears they believe that the training their people got from the Hope mission development will make it possible for them to proceed now on their own.

I also suspect that instead of buying a Russian Soyuz launch, they are aiming to hire an American company, either SpaceX or Boeing, to fly their next astronaut, since they have made a deal with NASA for astronaut training.

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. 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.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

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


If Paypal doesn'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

One comment

  • LocalFluff

    That’s a bit more ambitious than launching Soviet Scuds on Israel.

    Arab dictators making good decisions? Again and again??
    Perhaps a cat around the hot porridge will have a taste when it has cooled down. Perhaps. Very suspiciousss.

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 *