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SpaceX successfully launches commercial satellite

The competition heats up: SpaceX tonight successfully launched Echostar 23.

This launch is almost four weeks after their last launch, which sent a Dragon capsule to ISS. Their goal this year has been to do one launch every two weeks, a goal they have not yet reached. The next launch, which will also place a commercial communications satellite into orbit, is tentatively set for March 27, and will also be the first launch that reuses a first stage. If they make that happen it will be first time they have hit the two week launch rate this year. They will then try to follow with another Dragon resupply mission, this time reusing a Dragon capsule for the first time.

Pioneer cover

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.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • jhon

    After months of waiting, The Brazilians can finally watch TV again

  • wodun

    March 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm
    After months of waiting, The Brazilians can finally watch TV again

    Could you imagine what would happen in the USA if there was no TV or internet to watch entertainment on? It wouldn’t be the mass reading of books that I know.

  • Edward

    Hosted webcast (my favorite type): (54 minutes)

    Technical webcast (no jibber jabber) (48 minutes)

    Before the internet and TV there were radio and movie theaters. And families used to sing and read newspapers.

  • wayne

    wodun– oh yeah, far too many people in the United States would meltdown if their internet & TV went dark. “First World Problems.”

    In general, I love me some jibber-jabber, but I prefer the technical webcast from SpaceX.

    totally tangential, but communication-related and I know there are some radio-people out there–
    ran across a video on an absolutely yuge AM radio transmitter in Mason, Ohio. The only station to ever transmit at such a high power.
    “WLW’s 500,000 Watt Transmitter”
    Founded by Powel Crosley. He began broadcasting from his garage at 20 watts in the early 1920’s & started an AM radio-set factory, shortly thereafter he formed WLW 700-am, and kept increasing the power on a regular basis.
    They went from 50K watts to 500K watts in 1932. The whole transmitter is the height of analog design & technology. Truly massive, direct-current powered, with 2 foot tall water-cooled vacuum tubes and assorted support infrastructure that is steam-punk esque.

  • Dick Eagleson

    As the FCC was created in 1934, I have to figure that WLW just got grandfathered in. The FCC certainly wouldn’t license a new half-megawatt AM transmitter these days.

    That is not, by the way, an implication that I agree with the FCC on that point. As far as I’m concerned, a radio station should be able to broadcast at any signal strength it wants so long as it has clear-channel permission. There are numerous AM stations outside the U.S. that broadcast with more power than the FCC maximum of 50,000 watts. I would draw a line if a transmitter generated ball lightning and annoyed the nearby livestock.

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