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.
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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