In its first launch since 2016, Israel yesterday successfully used its Shavit rocket to place a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit.
This was also Israel’s ninth successful launch since it completed its first in 1988. The country has averaged about one launch every four years since, almost of of which have been military reconnaissance satellites. Generally, the pattern has been for Israeli commercial satellites to get launched by other commercial rocket companies, leaving the military launches to Shavit.
The leaders in the 2020 launch race remain unchanged:
The U.S. leads China 16 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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