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Progress freighter in big trouble

A Progress freighter launched by Russia to ISS on Tuesday was placed in the wrong orbit, has not deployed its radar antennas needed for rendezvous, and is not responding properly to commands on the ground.

Whether it is in the wrong orbit might be an incorrect report, but other sources demonstrate clearly that the spacecraft is tumbling out of control. Based on all these reports, it does not look good for this vehicle. The crew on ISS, including the two astronauts on a year-long mission there, might have to do without these supplies.

Meanwhile Russia is proceeding with its plans to consolidate control of all aspects of its aerospace industry under the banner of a single government “super-corporation” run by Roscosmos. Considering the number of technical failures they have had with spacecraft and rockets in the past five years, it seems to me that this is the worst approach for solving these problems. Then again, Russian culture strongly favors a top-down authoritarian approach, so it might work better under this Soviet-style approach.

I don’t believe it, but we are going to find out in the coming decades.

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.

2 comments

  • PeterF

    Looks like an opportunity for private space to step in and and save the day. As soon as Falcon 9 achieves reusability, short notice launch to order will be just around the corner

  • geoffc

    At some levels, SpaceX is backing up Orbital till Antares returns to flight.
    But heck yes, start reflying Dragon cargo, on reused first stages and man the price will drop!

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