It’s the end of the month, and that means a sneak preview at what’s in store next month on the Journey. There is also a bit of space news I missed. Things are now moving fast enough in the world of rockets that it’s easy to fall behind!
For those following along at home, here’s what’s coming out in October. Items that I plan to review are listed in bold:
October 1960 IF Science Fiction
October 1960 Analog
October 1960 Fantasy and Science Fiction
October 1960 Amazing
October 1960 Fantastic
Starfire, Robert Buckner
Men into Space, Murray Leinster
I aim at the Stars
The Twilight Zone
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Presidential Debates
Here’s a recap of this month’s digests and how they fared against each other:
F&SF was the clear winner at 3.75 stars. Both Galaxy and Analog trailed far behind, both at 2.75 stars. F&SF also had my favorite story: From Shadowed Places. There were 23 authors across the three books; two of them were women.
Now for the Space News:
Looking back through my newspapers, I see that the Air Force got off another Discoverer on September 13. This fifteenth in the series of capsule-return spacecraft was the third success in a row. Like its predecessors, it was launched into a polar orbit (as opposed to the East-West orbits used for civilian shots), with an apogee of 787 km and a perigee of 217 km. 17 orbits later, the capsule began its reentry somewhere over Alaska. Though the airplanes deployed to recover the capsule did not manage to catch it in mid-air, the probe was later found drifting in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Christmas Island.
Now here’s the interesting part. The capsule carried no biological payload (as usual), but it did carry instruments being “tested for later reconnaissance satellites,” namely MIDAS, the missile-launch detector, and SAMOS, the official Air Force spy sat program. This is the first time the Air Force has admitted what I’ve suspected all along–that Discoverer is really a testbed spy sat. One of the articles I read went on to say that the capsules will be carrying monkeys sometime soon. Don’t hold your breath. Discoverer never had anything to do with the manned space program.
Thus ends September. Here’s looking at a busy October!