Last Titan-IIIB Launch … and the Latest Asimov's

Twenty-five years ago today — February 12, 1987 — a Titan-IIIB launched from Vandenberg AFB carrying a Satellite Data System (SDS) spacecraft.

(Undated Titan-IIIB [34B] launch. Image from Lee Brandon-Cremer via Wikimedia Commons. Almost certainly this was originally a USAF photograph.)

According to the National Space Science Data Cnter, SDS satellites operated in highly elliptical orbits and

served as a communications link between the Air Force Satellite Control Facility at Sunnyvale, CA, and 7 remote tracking stations located at Vandenberg AFB, Hawaii, Guam, Nahe Island, Greenland, the UK, and Boston.

This is significant to me because I know the tracking station in Greenland well. Many years later I commanded it: callsign POGO, the Thule Tracking Station.

According to this Wikipedia page, this was the last launch of the Titan-IIIB series. This particular vehicle was one of the -34B variants.

At the time of that launch, I was stationed at the AF Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards AFB, helping prepare for a static test of a full-scale solid rocket motor in support of the Titan-34D “recovery” program. But that’s another story.

And speaking of stories: yesterday my contributor’s copies of the April/May issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction arrived, and there on page 72 is my story, “Sensitive, Compartmented.”

So … space history that relates in part to my own USAF experience, and a new short story. That makes for a pretty good weekend.

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It's Official, for My Part: Story Sale to Asimov's

I’ve mentioned this before in other contexts, but now that I’ve signed the contract it feels more real: my short story “Sensitive, Compartmented” is slated to appear in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

They currently plan to run the story in the April/May 2012 double issue.

For those of a military or Intelligence Community bent, the title should be suggestive. But not only in the way they might think.

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Second Sale to Analog

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve signed the contract for my second sale to Analog Science Fiction & Fact. My story, “The Song of Uullioll,” should appear, I think, in the first half of 2012.

It was surreal when my first Analog story was published this past year. It’s even more surreal that I have stories slated for publication next year in the two biggest science fiction magazines, Analog and Asimov’s Science Fiction.

This is a nice dream I’m living.

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