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Orbital Sciences restarts engine testing for its Taurus 2 rocket

Orbital Sciences has resumed engine testing for its Taurus 2 rocket.

While many have doubts about SpaceX, SpaceX has at least flown two successful flights of its Falcon 9 rocket. Orbital needs the Taurus 2 to supply ISS, and this rocket remains untested and as yet incomplete, with the schedule bearing down on them.

Pioneer cover

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.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Joe2

    Space X is now about two years behind schedule for delivering payload to the ISS (under the COTS program) with their next test flight scheduled for January (Remember – unlike the much maligned Constellation Systems – the COTS program got every penny promised it by the government).

    I guess that their only remaining COTS competitor is even further behind schedule could be construed as good for Space X. However, I do not see how it can be considered good news for the United States, NASA, the ISS and especially ‘Commercial Space’.

  • joe, obviously you are consumed by the fairy book story presented by the higher-ups that the once scheduled Constellation Program and the sponsoring of private interests along with the now proposed Liberty Program. These birds will never fly. Ever. they are an avenue for the funneling of tax dollars into a project that the public Has Not Seen. each of these programs have a project window of 7-10yrs from now.

  • Joe2

    Yes Wade, that is me Fairy Tales all the way (why do you guys always feel you have to resort to insults to try to make your points?)

    If you do not believe that Space X is running two years behind schedule (while having received all the money they were promised) you can find the COTS scheduling documents on line. The next Falcon 9/Dragon test flight (now tentatively scheduled for December 2011) was originally set for November 2009.

    If you do not believe that Constellation Systems got less than originally promised look up the original planning and authorization documents and then look at the actual appropriations.

  • Frank

    The difference is that SpaceX does’nt get more money if they split from their schedule. They have to come up with there own money to complete what they signed up for.

  • libs0n

    They also got an order of magnitude less money than Constellation. ISS cargo resupply was not prioritized greatly, and it would be a challenge to come up with a more promptly timed resupply system for the amount of money allocated to COTS and under its terms, which was to create a redundant domestic supply line.

  • Joe2

    “The difference is that SpaceX does’nt get more money if they split from their schedule.”

    Neither did Constellation Systems. They got cancelled.

    “They have to come up with there own money to complete what they signed up for.”

    Here is hoping they eventually live up to what “they signed up for”. They are more than two years behind schedule and they have not yet.

  • Joe2

    Under the COTS program they also got a smaller task, delivery of cargo to the ISS. Constellation Systems had:
    – Delivery of Cargo to the ISS.
    – Delivery of Crew to the ISS.
    – Delivery of Cargo to the Moon.
    – Delivery of Crew to the Moon.
    – Eventual support of crewed Martian missions.

  • Frank

    At least SpaceX contract is not cancel, so there still hope they will succeed. Unlike Constellation.

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