Capitalism in space: Yesterday Boeing pushed back its Starliner launch schedule as a result of the fuel leak problem that had occurred during an engine test of the capsule last week.
They now plan the first unmanned test flight around the end of this year, with the first manned flight in the middle of 2019.
As for the fuel leak,
several abort engine valves failed to close properly, causing a leak of toxic fuels. The test article was not damaged and no one was hurt, but the incident required an investigation with support from NASA.
Other reports say that 4 of 8 valves failed to close. There is no explanation about why this happened, but I find it a very strange technical failure. Building valves for spacecraft is not cutting edge design, or I wouldn’t think so.
Tomorrow NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine is going to make an announcement with some official launch dates for both Boeing and SpaceX. We shall see if SpaceX’s schedule gets pushed back as well.
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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