1st launch attempt tonight on Pegasus aborted; 2nd attempt a success

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.

Less than two minutes from launch mission control aborted the launch of the Pegasus rocket because of a communications problem between mission control and the flight crew on L-1011 aircraft.

This is after more than a year’s delay because of a difficult-to-pin-down problem with the Pegasus rocket itself.

They are presently working towards a second launch attempt tonight in about thirty minutes. You can follow this at the link above. Note that the NASA television feed is delayed about two minutes from the comment feed below. It is also filled with NASA’s incessant propaganda and pandering documentaries.

Pegasus has launched ICON and the first two stages have done their job. They are now coasting to the point where the third stage will fire. That coast is complete, the third stage has completed its job and ICON is in orbit.

This is Northrop Grumman’s second launch in 2019, so the leader rankings for the 2019 launch race remains unchanged:

19 China
17 Russia
10 SpaceX
6 Europe (Arianespace)

The U.S. however has regained its lead over China, 20 to 19, in the national rankings.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

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One comment

  • David K

    It is interesting that once prominent companies have become minor players in the US space launch industry (while still getting billions of dollars a year).

    However at the end of the race I guess every mile counts, and it is nice if you can play it as a relay race when everyone else is doing the marathon solo.

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