Ariane 5 successfully launches 4 European GPS satellites

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.

Capitalism in space: Using its Ariane 5 rocket Arianespace yesterday successfully placed four European Galileo GPS satellites in orbit.

This is expected to be Arianespace’s last launch for 2017. The standings for the most launches in 2017 as of today:

27 United States
18 Russia
16 SpaceX
15 China
11 Arianespace

SpaceX and Russia each have two scheduled launches, while China has one. China however does not release information about all of its upcoming launches, so it might surprise us with more.


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  • mkent

    You’re double-booking the two Soyuz launches from Kourou (Hispasat AG1 and SES-15) under both Russia and Arianespace. Arianespace manages the sales contract, but Russia performs the actual launch (much like USA-based ILS manages the sales contracts of commercial Proton vehicles but Russia performs the actual launch). Counting those two flights as Russian, the totals are 18 for Russia and 9 for Europe.

    Also, you’re double-booking the SpaceX flights under the United States. The 27-flight total for USA includes the 16 SpaceX flights.

  • mkent: When I published my full table of launches last year, I made it clear that I was counting the Soyuz launches from French Guiana under Arianespace, not Russia. I do not double book them. It could be argued that they should go until Russia’s category, but I decided that since these launches would probably not happen without Arianespace, Arianespace should get the credit for them.

    Similarly, I have made it clear recently that I am showing the U.S. total plus separating SpaceX individually, just to show how that single U.S. company is doing compared to other nations. This is not double-booking. SpaceX’s launches still rank as U.S. launches.

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