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.

Watching New Shepard’s first manned commercial flight tomorrow

Blue Origin will be live streaming the suborbital flight tomorrow of its New Shepard spacecraft, carrying Jeff and Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and passenger 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, his ticket paid for by his father at an undisclosed price.

The broadcast begins at 7 am (Eastern), with launch scheduled for 9 am (Eastern).

The flight itself will be about about ten to twelve minutes total, expecting to reach an altitude exceeding 67 miles, Though it will fly higher than Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flight last week, which reached about 53.5 miles, it will be far shorter. Because Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft takes off attached to the bottom of an airplane, the flight includes more than an hour of flight time getting up to the right altitude to release the spacecraft.

New Shepard launches from the ground, goes straight up, and reaches its maximum height within minutes.

Which is a better deal? That’s up to you. Since orbital tourist flights are now available and will be launching monthly beginning in September, both of these very short suborbital hops seem much less interesting then they would have only two years ago.


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  • Jeff Wright

    The ABMA Redstone beat both these toys…and it was puny compared to R-7.

    A Falcon booster with a suborbital pod seat? That’s my thrill ride!

  • Do you have to wear a mask?

  • wayne

    just tuned in the pre-game, looks to be 15 minutes or so….
    just enough time to review:

    “Apollo 11 landing from PDI to Touchdown”
    Apollo Flight Journal 2018

  • Ray Van Dune

    Watched the flight through the NASASpaceflight video, which seemed slightly less inane (and I have some major philosophical problems with Bezos that have nothing to do with rockets). That being said, I think the NSF boys also need to work on saying more with fewer words!

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