Capitalism in space: Two successfully launches this morning.
First Rocket Lab used its Electron rocket to launch a German cubesat thought to be a prototype for a Chinese communications constellation, though no information has been publicly released. No recovery attempts were made on the rocket’s first stage.
Then SpaceX successfully completed its 17th Starlink launch and second launch in 2021. This puts about 950 Starlink satellites in orbit. The booster for this flight landed on the drone ship, completing its record eighth flight.
The 2021 launch race:
1 Virgin Orbit
1 Rocket Lab
The U.S. now leads China 4 to 1 in the national rankings.
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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