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.

Update on Starship: Flight of prototype #10 possible this week

Link here. Lots of stuff going on, with Starship prototypes 15 through 19 being assembled and waiting n the wings. Crews have also repaved and expanded the landing pad at Boca Chica, and begun assembling the first Super Heavy prototype.

The most significant tidbit to me was this:

One section inside a production tent appears to be undergoing preparations to cover the entire windward side in [thermal patches].

This unnamed section could indicate a vehicle that will be taken to an altitude that would test its heat shield under re-entry conditions. Current [thermal] patches are mostly being tested to see how they perform during the stresses of cryogenic propellant loading and launch and landing vibrations.

It is not known yet to which prototype this section belongs to, but that it is being prepared means that SpaceX is moving relentless towards that first orbital flight.


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  • Jeff Wright

    I just wish he would use landing jets at the ready to save the airframe so a rocket engine failure doesn’t make a mess. SRBs will help SLS leave the pad-and jets will help Starship return-so the failed part won’t be in a pile-helping forensics. Omit the jet pods later once things are perfected.

    Starship is a child who needs training wheels to avoid a fall.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Messes do not bother SpaceX. And, given the cost of jet engines, it is likely cheaper just to crash a few cheap prototypes than to go out of the way to save them.

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