Launching missions into space has never been the same as catching a flight at the airport. It takes time—usually a lot of it—to prepare a spaceflight mission, and as 2017 rolls out to the launchpad, some missions in the works for years will finally get off the ground. While the incoming administration will shape space exploration in the years ahead, the new year will see the realization of long-standing projects worldwide, regardless of what happens in the White House. For my ...

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