Praise for SpaceX’s Dragon Flight to ISS

Praise is rolling in for SpaceX’s successful Dragon flight to the International Space Station…

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

CSF President and former ISS commander Michael Lopez-Alegria said in a statement, “Tomorrow the six astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station will open the hatches to the first visiting vehicle from a private company. Future commercial cargo deliveries under NASA’s COTS and CRS programs will ensure that the ISS continues to be a resource for America and its international partners.

“This is truly a momentous accomplishment for SpaceX and for the industry. The capabilities of the commercial space industry grow by the day, and America is well on its way to having a diverse, cost-effective and dependable space transportation system. The entire team at SpaceX should be commended for their commitment and skill, and thanked for their contribution to restoring U.S. access to the Space Station.”

Space Florida

The successful docking of the Dragon capsule – a major milestone in NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program – also marks the beginning of commercially enabled, cutting edge research opportunities on board the unparalleled microgravity environment of the U.S. National Lab.

“The State of Florida is so proud to be the launching place of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule that made today’s ISS docking exercise possible,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We are thrilled that Florida continues to shine as the birthplace of next-generation U.S. commercial space launch and exploration initiatives – as it has been for the past 50+ years. We congratulate SpaceX on today’s historic achievement.”

CASIS

The success marks a significant milestone in bringing ISS cargo delivery and return capabilities back to the U.S. Currently, U.S. cargo is delivered to the ISS via Russian, European and Japanese launch vehicles.

Unlike other vehicles, Dragon offers not just the ability to make ISS deliveries but also to safely return significant amounts of cargo to Earth – a key to maximizing research on the ISS, which is CASIS’ ultimate goal. Once NASA has formally approved Dragon to make regular resupply flights to the ISS, CASIS will work with the company to ferry cutting edge research payloads to and from the National Lab.

A major component of the next-generation U.S. Space Program will include the groundbreaking research that will take place on board the ISS, an unparalleled scientific platform with unique environments that when harnessed in research can enable the development of new products and technologies to benefit life on Earth.

“We saw history made today with the successful arrival of Dragon on Station,” said CASIS Interim Executive Director Jim Royston. “We look forward to working with SpaceX to deliver research scientific payloads to the ISS National Lab to further U.S.-based R&D opportunities.”

Spaceport America

Christine Anderson, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, said, “It’s not every day you get to witness history in the making. The successful on-orbit rendezvous of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with the ISS is a watershed moment for the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry. All of us at Spaceport America salute SpaceX for their groundbreaking achievement. We send our congratulations to Elon Musk and the entire SpaceX team, and wish them continued success of their mission.”

OSTP Director John Holdren

John P. Holdren
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology

For the first time, a private American company has successfully launched a spacecraft into orbit and berthed it with the International Space Station—an achievement of historic scientific and technological significance and a key milepost in President Obama’s vision for America’s continued leadership in space.

That is exactly what the President had in mind when he laid out a fresh course for NASA to explore new scientific frontiers and take Americans ever deeper into our Solar System while relying on private-sector innovators—working in the competitive free market—to ferry astronauts and cargo to Low Earth Orbit and the International Space Station. It’s essential we maintain such competition and fully support this burgeoning and capable industry to get U.S. astronauts back on American launch vehicles as soon as possible.

I could not be prouder of our scientists and engineers—both government and private sector employees—who have contributed to this historic mission.   A passion for discovery and a sense for adventure have always driven this Nation forward, and I join all Americans in watching what future possibilities are enabled by today’s great achievement.