SpaceX early today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to place another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing that constellation to over 1,300 satellites.
The first stage landed successfully, for the sixth time. Both fairing halves were also reused, and their recovery method has now been simplified:
SpaceX has recently appeared to adjust its fairing recovery strategy. The ships previously dedicated to fairing catch attempts, GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree, have been stripped of their nets and arms, a possible sign that dry fairing recoveries will no longer be attempted. Post-splashdown recovery has proven to be fairly successful, as recent missions frequently use fairing halves that have flown once if not multiple times before.
The leaders in the 2021 launch race:
2 Rocket Lab
Counting all launches, the U.S. now leads China 13 to 6 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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