NASA and SpaceX have chosen to delay tomorrow’s second manned flight on SpaceX’s Endeavour capsule one day because of “unfavorable weather conditions forecast along the flight path for Thursday.”
The launch is now scheduled for 5:49 am (Eastern) on April 23rd. NASA of course will live stream it, though you will have to listen to a lot of pro-NASA propaganda, even though this flight is almost entirely run by SpaceX using a SpaceX rocket, a SpaceX capsule, and SpaceX launch and landing crews. NASA’s real involvement is as a very interested and involved customer during launch and recovery, and then in charge while the crew is docking or is on board ISS.
This will be the first time astronauts will fly on a reused SpaceX capsule. Endeavour was used for the first manned test flight last spring. That earlier flight also creates an interesting human interest side story on this flight. Of the four person crew, pilot Megan McArthur also happens to be the wife of Bob Behnken, who flew on Endeavour last year.
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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