The competition heats up: SpaceX has successfully completed the first vertical flight of the Falcon 9R landing test rocket.
Reports have been confirmed that SpaceX’s Falcon 9-R development vehicle made its first free flight today at McGregor — taking off, hovering, moving sideways and landing.
Falcon 9R is the successor to Grasshopper, carrying more engines to more accurately simulate a Falcon 9 first stage.
Meanwhile, today’s launch of Dragon and the second attempt to bring the first stage back to Earth in a controlled manner remains iffy because of weather.
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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