Due to the discovery of a faulty valve on a Soyuz rocket being prepared for launch in French Guiana, Roscosmos has delayed today’s Soyuz rocket launch from Plesetsk, Russia, until December 3rd to allow engineers to inspect similar valves on that rocket.
This quote from Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, from the first link, describing the problem, is somewhat amusing:
“The ‘faulty valve’ would be launched with the rocket, and it would return to Earth being just a heap of mishap metal, that would be the problem. There are always some flaws, but in our case, they cost too much. Happily, the low-quality detail was timely detected by the quality control system. However, in general, I do note a sharp decline in our suppliers’ responsibility and quality of their work,”
It appears the quality control problems with Russia’s aerospace industry are continuing. No one, including the Russians, should be surprised by this, as that industry has no competition to stimulate quality work and force bad companies out of business. Instead, everything is managed by Roscosmos from on top, with much of that management designed to eliminate competition entirely and protect the companies that presently exist..
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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