BEVERLY, MA May 31, 2012 — ExploreMars congratulates SpaceX and NASA on the successful conclusion of the historic Falcon 9/Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS). With the successful recovery of the Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX has demonstrated its ability to transport cargo to and from the ISS. Moreover, with modest modifications, this same system can be used to transport crews to the ISS and other destinations.
As noted by Artemis Westenberg, President of ExploreMars, “This is a turning point for the United States space program, but also for space exploration worldwide. SpaceX has demonstrated that commercial companies can accomplish routine transportation to and from low Earth orbit, which will allow NASA to focus its resources on the exploration of deep space destinations such as Mars.” Westenberg also commented that SpaceX’s achievements “will help to motivate young people around the country (around the world) to study math, science and engineering so they can be part of this great adventure.”
Joe Webster, Political Director for ExploreMars, emphasized the political ramifications of this achievement: “This mission, following two previous successful flights of the Falcon 9, demonstrates the wisdom of NASA providing seed money for both commercial cargo and commercial crew. While some have questioned the value of these investments, SpaceX has shown that the return to the American taxpayer is likely to be enormous. As a result, Congress will be under even more pressure to fully fund the Administration’s FY 2013 request for the commercial crew program, of which SpaceX is one of the leading participants.” Other participants in the commercial crew program include companies such as Boeing, Sierra Nevada, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin.
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