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SpaceX successfully launches Dragon to ISS

Capitalism in space: SpaceX early this morning successfully launched Dragon to ISS using its last Block 4 Falcon 9.

Both the first stage and Dragon were used components. As planned, they did not recover the first stage.

The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

18 China
12 SpaceX
7 Russia
5 ULA
4 Japan

The U.S. and China are once again tied at 18 in the national standings.

At the moment the 2018 worldwide totals for launches is 54, and this is only for the first half of the year. As I predicted in my January review of 2017’s launch totals, we continue to trend to having more than 100 launches in 2018, the first time this has happened since before the fall of the Soviet Union. Then, the numbers were inflated because the Soviets launched a lot of out-of-date spy satellites more out of habit than practicality, which is why, when the Soviet Union fell, the launch totals dropped precipitously. Now, the numbers reflect the real commercial market in space, and suggest real sustained growth, largely fueled by SpaceX’s forcing of lower launch prices.

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.

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