Only moments prior to launch computers aborted the first flight of Angara, Russia’s first new rocket since the Soviet-era.
More information here. According to a Russian web forum, the problem is probably a leaky valve or the loss of pressure in the propulsion system and that it might take a week to be fixed.
The quote below from the first story above is interesting in that it once again illustrates how Putin is trying to exert his authority over the space industry to re-establish the Soviet-era top down way of doing things:
Putin, who had been poised to watch the rocket’s inaugural flight from the northern military Plesetsk cosmodrome via video link from the Kremlin, ordered his generals to report on the cause of the delay within an hour.
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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