In order to save construction costs at its new spaceport at Vostochny, Russia has decided to delay its first manned flight there until 2023.
They originally were going prepare a launchpad for Soyuz rockets so that they could do a manned launch at Vostochny as early as 2019, but had already admitted this was inefficient and had abandoned the plan. Now they have admitted that it will take until 2023 for them to get Vostochny and Angara ready for manned flights.
That it will still take almost 8 years to prepare a launchpad and get Angara ready to launch manned capsules, however, seems an ungodly long period of time. It should not take that long.
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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