Another eleven news stories were published today on the LDSD test flight (go here to find them all), but only two gave an honest and informative appraisal of the parachute failure and the program’s future. This CBS report clarified the results well with these two quotes:
The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator then fell toward impact in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii. The carrier balloon apparently came apart after the LDSD’s release and it was not immediately clear what recovery crews standing by in the landing zone might be able to retrieve.
Two more LDSD vehicles are being built for “flights of record” next summer.
Another report from Space Insider also provided this key information, something I would have expected every journalist in the world to have considered essential to their report.
Sadly, not one of the other news stories saw fit to mention that the test vehicle might have been destroyed because of the failure of the chute, nor did any of them bother to report that two more such test vehicles are under construction, allowing program to continue anyway.
That so many news stories were published on this test flight indicates the interest that exists in it. Too bad most reporters writing these stories were only interested in providing us propaganda and pro-NASA cheer-leading.
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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