Private vaporware: A new and previously completely unknown British rocket company, Starchaser, has claimed today that it will be flying tourists into space within three to five years.
How do I know this is vaporware and won’t happen? Besides the fact that I’ve never heard of this company before and that the story above includes a lot of fishy details (such as the head of the company has apparently most spent his time building large model rockets), there was this one quote:
The flight will only take an hour and will see the rocket reach around 330,000ft – ten times the average cruising altitude for an aeroplane flight.
An hour is too short for an orbital flight, and is much too long for a suborbital flight at 330,000 feet. In other words, something here is just not right. Regardless, I hope my cynicism here turns out to be wrong, and this company joins the new competition to lower costs into space.
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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