The competition heats up: Japan today successfully launched its first military satellite.
Faced with an increased military challenge from China, even as the U.S. is becoming less willing to provide it military support, Japan has upped its military program significantly. This success is especially welcome, considering the string of engineering failures that Japan has experienced recently.
The Tuesday launch marks the successful resumption of a programme that was halted last year by an embarrassing mishap. The first of the three satellites, which was meant to go into space from Europe’s Space port in French Guiana, was crushed during a flight from Japan after a blue tarpaulin covering its transport box blocked valves meant to equalize the internal air pressure as the cargo aircraft descended. The accident damaged sensitive antennas, government sources told Reuters in July.
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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