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Russia successfully completes second Angara rocket launch

The new colonial movement: After many delays, Russia today successfully completed the second launch of its new Angara rocket, placing a dummy test payload into orbit.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

33 China
24 SpaceX
14 Russia
5 Rocket Lab
5 Europe (Arianespace)

The U.S. lead over China in the national rankings remains 38 to 33. With this launch the total launches in 2020 now matches that achieved last year, something achieved despite the Wuhan virus panic.

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.


  • David Eastman

    I’m glad to see Angara launch again. It seems like a good capable launcher. Unfortunately it also seems to be expensive, I’m not sure how much of that is the incredibly low cadence and how much is baked in.

    Russia comes up with some amazing plans and hardware designs, it’s a shame that there is zero chance of them being able to follow through on most of it.

  • V-Man

    Did they recover the first stage alright?

    Oh… right…. expendable.

  • geoffc

    4 side boosters this time. I assume they managed to recover most of them right?

    Oh ya, right.

    Good way to up the RD-191 consumption rate. 5 per launch uses them up pretty quick.

  • LocalFluff

    It didn’t exactly put a Tesla in heliocentric orbit. But they are making inroads into the dummy payload market segment! They even simulated the concrete lump payload release before burning up in the atmosphere. 6 years delay after first test launch, that beats SLS by a decade at least!

    @David Eastman wrote:
    “Russia comes up with some amazing plans and hardware designs, it’s a shame that there is zero chance of them being able to follow through on most of it.”

    Yeah, we’ve kinda seen that for 100 years now.

  • Icepilot

    “national rankings remains 38 to 33” – how are U.S. numbers added up, plz?
    Thx much.

  • Icepilot: The totals include other launches not included in the leader board above.

  • James Street

    “Elon Musk Scoffs at Number of MBAs Running Corporate America”
    “Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, said recently that there are too many business school grads — and not enough innovative entrepreneurs — who are running American companies.”

    Bingo! I started at Boeing right out of college and it was a mature industry run by MBAs, people who were skilled at and loved office politics… turf wars, building fiefdoms, and destroying other peoples’ careers and lives in battle. After a few years of that I moved to the tech world at a cellphone company just at the start of smart phones. The attitude was “Let’s build something cool!” Advances in smart phones were coming so fast that we couldn’t update the phone system fast enough.

    Sadly now the tech world is a mature industry run by MBAs.

  • LocalFluff

    I just saw that there now is a Wikipedia page that details orbital launches per month, as well as other spaceflight events:

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