The competition heats up: After its second attempt this week to land its first stage on a barge in the Atlantic, SpaceX is now considering landing their next attempt on the ground.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. The reason they have been landing over the ocean in these initial tests was for safety. The last two landings however had demonstrated that they can reliably bring that first stage back accurately and precisely. Since they have the ability to destroy the stage should it go off course, it seems reasonable to shift to land now and simplify their challenge.
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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