The space war heats up: Two senators have issued a statement lambasting the Obama Administration for its budget numbers for building the program-formerly-called-Constellation.
All of this is fantasy and foolishness. These senators might succeed in forcing NASA to spend money on the heavy-lift rocket that Congress has mandated, but there is no way the space agency will ever get enough funding or time to finish it. Even if the lower estimates are right, the cost is exorbitant, many times that of what the private companies have spent for their rockets and ships. And if construction does begin in earnest, it cannot be finished before the arrival of a new President in 2016 (at the latest), who, like all new Presidents, will have his own plans and will not want to build something started by the previous administration.
Much better to end this farce and save the money, especially considering the debt of federal government.
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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