China yesterday used its Long March 4B rocket to launch three satellites into orbit.
This was the first Long March 4 launch since May, when the third stage of a Long March 4C rocket failed. The main payload was a remote sensing satellite with both civilian and military applications. The second satellite was to provide ocean data and weather, with the third a cubesat testing new space communications and the use of a drag sail for de-orbiting.
The leaders in the 2019 launch race:
6 Europe (Arianespace)
The U.S. continues to lead China 19 to 15 in the national rankings.
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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