After having to postpone several launches due to weather concerns, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule successfully delivered NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on Sunday.
This historical moment marks the resurrection of space flight after NASA’s space shuttle program was terminated almost a decade ago. It also marked the first time that a commercially developed space vehicle has carried American astronauts into orbit.
After a 19 hour flight to the space station, Behnken and Hurley were warmly greeted by the station crew. “It’s great to get the United States back in the crewed launch business, and we’re just really glad to be on board this magnificent complex,” said Hurley.
The excitement was shared on the ground. “I will tell you, the whole world saw this mission, and we are so, so proud for everything you have done for our country and in fact to inspire the world,” said NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine.
“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX.
“It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”
President Donald Trump also attended the Sunday launch alongside Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence later took to Twitter saying, “Today is the culmination of three and a half years of renewed leadership in space. It’s a tribute to the courage of our astronauts, American ingenuity at @NASA & @SpaceX, the support of the American people & the vision and leadership of President @realDonaldTrump.”
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