Capitalism in space: SpaceX tonight successfully launched a Sirius-XM commercial radio satellite using its Falcon 9 rocket.
The first stage, making its third flight, successfully landed on the drone ship in the Atlantic. Note too that this launch took place only three days after SpaceX’s previous launch. Watching it take place, I was struck by how completely routine everything seemed. While rocketry will never be easy, SpaceX now makes it look so, and they do so because, unlike all other rocket companies, they did not stop upgrading and improving their rocket once it became somewhat reliable. Instead, they focused on making it more reliable than any rocket ever by making it reusable. That effort has now paid off, giving them a rocket that works like clockwork, practically every time.
The leaders in the 2021 launch race:
2 Rocket Lab
The U.S. now leads China 24 to 15 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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