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This is a beautiful short supercut of the history of SpaceX’s effort to develop a recoverable first stage. Hat tip Rand Simberg.
The video notes that it took less four years, from the first flight of Grasshopper to the first successful landing by a Falcon 9 first stage. This is the kind of pace I remember as a child in the America I grew up in. New ideas were fast and continuous, and things moved. I pray we are heading for a new renaissance where things will move again.
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.