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.

Virgin Orbit merger produces only half the investment capital expected

Capitalism in space: It appears that the merger of Virgin Orbit with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) NextGen Acquisition II has produced only half the investment capital that had been expected.

The merger had expected to produce $483 million in investment capital for the rocket company. Instead it has produced only $228 million because many shareholders of NextGen cashed out before the merger occurred. Apparently, these shareholders did not have confidence in the Virgin Orbit, and feared their stock value would drop once the merger was completed.

It appears that Virgin Orbit has been stained by the failure of another Richard Branson space company, Virgin Galactic, to deliver on its promises. Virgin Orbit has successfully completed two orbital flights, and is expected to complete a third shortly. Unlike Virgin Galactic, it has done what it said it would, though it took longer than predicted (delays that were not unreasonable considering it was a startup rocket company). Investors have looked at the collapse of Virgin Galactic stocks, and have decided they do not wish to gamble their money on another Branson space company, no matter how successful.

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