In a test flight today of SpaceX’s Falcon 9R vertical take off and landing rocket the rocket was destroyed when ground controllers detected an “anomaly.”
Falcon 9R is a three engine version of the Falcon 9 first stage, designed to test designs for making that first stage capable of landing vertically. It has flown successfully a number of previous times, but this time it appears something was not quite right during the flight and ground controllers had to destroy it for safety reasons.
Is this a set back? Of course. Is it a failure? Not really, as it was a test flight of very cutting edge technology and even failures will teach you something to improve the engineering.
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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