Orbital Sciences has delayed the first demo launch of its Cygnus cargo capsule until March 2013 at the earliest.
The schedule for Antares itself has not been delayed. Launchpad tests are still scheduled to begin next week, with the first engine test set for early November, and the first launch of Antares set for December.
They don’t explain the reason for the Cygnus delay. I suspect they simply decided to be realistic. It was always unlikely that the first Cygnus launch would follow only a month after the first Antares launch, especially if there are any kinks in that launch.
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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