Capitalism in space: SpaceX this morning successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a record 143 smallsats into orbit.
As I write this they are in the process of deploying the satellites, which will take time as the upper stage circles the Earth. This launch of 143 satellites beats the former record of the most satellites deployed on a single launch, 104, set by India in 2017.
The first stage landed successfully, completing its fifth flight. They also recovered both fairing halves.
The standings in the 2021 launch race:
1 Rocket Lab
1 Virgin Orbit
The U.S. now leads China 5 to 1 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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