The competition heats up: Sources in Roscosmos, Russia’s government agency in charge of their entire aerospace industry, today revealed that the agency is considering building a heavy-lift rocket, as powerful as NASA’s SLS rocket but more similar to Energia, the heavy-lift rocket built by the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
The cost would be $12.2 billion, or 1 trillion rubles, and would take 7-8 years to complete. If approved, the work would also not begin until after 2025 so that the development of Angara’s full family of rockets is completed first.
Meanwhile, a GAO audit today noted that NASA has little margin for completing SLS on time and on budget.
Big, inefficient, and costly rockets: This is what governments do. Their goal? To provide jobs and pork. Even if the rocket never flies it matters not, as long as that pork keeps flowing.
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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