China today successfully launched an experimental communications satellite, outfitted to test the use of ion engine attitude thrusters as well as ground-to-orbit laser communications tests.
The article also outlines China’s busy launch schedule in April, which will include the launch and first test flight of their Tianzhou-1 cargo freighter. That flight will test the freighter’s ability to rendezvous and dock with their Tiangong-2 test space station module. This article notes that the freighter has been mounted on its Long March 7 rocket in preparation for launch in mid-April.
Posted in the air, now past Nova Scotia and moving into the Atlantic.
I must say that I am very glad to get out of Newark Airport. Though they have recently upgraded the airport, they have done so at the cost of providing affordable services to the traveler. All the restaurants there are very over-priced, and provide tiny portions. I actually ended up eating two dinners at two different restaurants in order to get enough food, and paid almost $40 for the pleasure. In addition, the tip was automatically added to the bill. I had no choice about that, even though the service was routinely bad. (They had installed tablets at every table so that you could order by computer. Getting a waiter to provide water however was practically impossible, and when I did get one they were slow to bring it.)
In addition, there were no fast food restaurants, which I normally avoid but would have been a far better choice in this case.
Newark is part of the New York urban area, a decidedly leftwing Democratic enclave. Thus, I am not surprised that things there cost too much, provided poor service, and also provided few choices.
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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