When will SpaceX launch the upgraded Falcon 9? We have competing news stories:
- The Canadian Space Agency sent out a press release today saying Cassiope will launch on September 15 on its Falcon 9 rocket.
- Elon Musk sent out a twitter report of yesterday’s static fire test, noting there were anomalies and that the launch date is still to be determined.
This is very puzzling. That the Canadian release was sent out today suggests that they have information we don’t have about the static fire test and thus knew they could announce the launch date. That Musk is more circumspect however suggests that the information the Canadians have is not correct.
Update: Stephen Clark at Spaceflight Now has more information. It appears the launch will not happen on Sunday, as SpaceX plans a second launchpad static test tomorrow to iron out the unexplained “anomalies” in yesterday’s static test.
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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