Capitalism in space: Russia’s Soyuz-2 rocket today successfully launched from its Vostochny spaceport another 36 more OneWeb satellites, raising that internet constellation to 182 satellites of a planned 650 satellites.
The constellation will take 20 Soyuz launches to finish, and like other competitor services such as Starlink, is designed to provide high speed, low latency broadband services to areas where such service is unavailable now. Whereas Starlink is being marketed to individuals, OneWeb’s services are designed for enterprise customers, including broadband providers. User terminals can enable 3G, LTE, 5G, and Wi-Fi service over land, sea, and air.
The leaders in the 2021 launch race:
2 Rocket Lab
The U.S. still leads China 15 to 8 in the national rankings. And these numbers will likely see some change as there are four launches scheduled in the next four days. First ULA’s Delta 4 Heavy will launch a spy satellite tomorrow, then the next day Arianespace will do its first launch this year, launching a commercial Airbus Earth observation satellite with a Vega rocket.
On April 28 SpaceX plans to launch another 60 Starlink satellites, followed on April 29th by the launch by China of the first module of its space station, using their Long March 5B rocket.
Things are heating up, and this is only the beginning.
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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