The new colonial movement: Even as China struggles to fix the problems that caused the launch failure in July of its newest most powerful rocket, Long March 5, it is about to start work on a new heavy-lift rocket, Long March 9, that will be able to lift 140 tons into orbit and make it more powerful than the Saturn 5 and comparable to the still unbuilt most powerful version of SLS.
Meanwhile, this article reveals that the reason engineers lost control of Tiangong-1, their first space station module, was because of the failure of the charger for the spacecraft’s batteries. Essentially, the module has no power.
Interestingly, this is the exact same thing that happened to the Soviet Union’s Salyut 7 space station in 1985. In that case, however, the Soviet Union had the time and the capability to put together a manned rescue mission where two cosmonauts docked with the dead station and brought it back to life.
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.
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