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.
 

Update on continuing engine testing of Starship prototype #8

Link here. The article provides details on the on-going engine tests of SpaceX’s eighth prototype of its Starship reusuable upper stage.

As should be expected, the testing has not gone exactly as planned, though clear progress is being made, especially in the testing of the header tanks in the nosecone..

After several days of test windows come and gone and an aborted attempt on November 9th, Starship SN8 finally ignited one of its three Raptor engines, feeding the engine with liquid methane and oxygen stored in two separate header tanks. Oddly, a second or two after startup and ignition, Raptor’s usual exhaust plume was joined by a burst of shiny firework-like debris. A relatively normal five seconds later, the Raptor cut off, though the engine appeared to remain partially on fire for another ten or so seconds – also somewhat unusual.

It appears that fire was from nearby debris, not the engine itself.

Another engine test is likely later this week. The actual 50,000 foot hop will not happen until they have completed all these engine tests.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, 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:

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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

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Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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