Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s Resilience capsule successfully splashed down tonight in Gulf of Mexico, returning four astronauts from a six month mission on ISS.
The infrared image to the right was taken from an airplane, just after the main parachutes deployed.
They are presently in the process of recovering the capsule and crew, which will take another hour or so. You can watch SpaceX’s live stream here.
Resilience’s next flight will be the first entirely commercial manned orbital flight, presently scheduled for September 15, 2021. Dubbed Inspiration4, it will carry four private passengers for a flight of two to four days. They will not dock with ISS, but instead orbit the Earth freely. SpaceX will also replace the docking port on Resilience with a domed cupola to provide the passengers more room and a great view during their flight.
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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