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.

Virgin Galactic’s Unity makes second powered flight

Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic’s Unity suborbital spaceship made its second powered flight yesterday, reaching Mach 1.9 and firing its engine for about 30 seconds.

The official company video of the flight is below the fold.

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  • Col Beausabre

    So, they’ve gotten to where the Bell X-2 was in the mid Fifties (and, to be fair, credit to Boeing for the B-50 carrier aircraft)

    To use an expression from my dad’s home state, “Richard Branson, more hat than cattle”)

  • Edward

    Col Beausabre wrote: “Richard Branson, more hat than cattle

    Hopefully Branson’s herd will grow larger than his hat.

  • pzatchok

    Watch the craft under power/

    It does not look stable. It was wiggling all over the place.

  • wodun

    So, they’ve gotten to where the Bell X-2 was in the mid Fifties (and, to be fair, credit to Boeing for the B-50 carrier aircraft)

    But are they doing it now?

    I understand what you are getting at but just because something was done in the past doesn’t mean doing it now is no big deal.

    For example: what about when we land on the Moon again? Sure we did it in the past but we haven’t in decades and the technology that will allow us to do so now, will be far more advanced that what we used before.

  • Edward

    I suspect that Col Beausabre understands that this is a developmental test that is a step in the direction of what SpaceShipOne already has done. They are checking out SpaceShipTwo’s performance and are working their way to a full mission profile. The wiggle that pzatchok noticed could be part of the test plan (testing out control), or it could be an unexpected performance issue. SpaceShipOne had a worse case of unexpected spinning roll on one of its flights.

    Second flight to space, first of two X-Prize flights: (10 minutes, unexpected roll begins at 1 minute into powered flight)

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