Falcon Flies and Dragon Spreads its Wings! Long live NewSpace!

by Space Frontier Foundation on May 22, 2012

The Space Frontier Foundation congratulated SpaceX for today’s successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket.

 “Today we witnessed the third successful launch of a commercial orbital rocket and the second of a new spacecraft, and it was amazing. From the bright ignition of the engines firing, to the deployment of the solar panels, the flight has been beautiful.  We in the Foundation salute the hard work of everyone involved in the Falcon 9 launch, from the shop floor of Hawthorne, California to the test stands at McGregor, Texas and the launch site in Florida, plus many public servants inside NASA, the Air Force, and the FAA.  Well done!” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Will Watson.

 The launch, boosting a Dragon capsule full of supplies for the International Space Station, is the first step of a mission to show that US commercial space firms are ready to begin taking on the job of ferrying supplies and people into orbit – something the Foundation has advocated for over 20 years.

 “We look forward to the next phase of this flight, when the Dragon rendezvous and hopefully berths with the International Space Station and proves once and for all that NewSpace can do the job,” said Rick Tumlinson, a Co-Founder of the Foundation. “It is a small headline today, but this is the beginning of a new era in space.

 The Foundation believes NASA and the US government should focus their attention on leading edge activities such as deep space exploration and research beyond the pale of US investors. By investing with commercial US space companies rather than single use government rockets or payments to other nations to carry our personnel and supplies to space, the United States can kick start a whole new space industry.

Both Watson and Tumlinson shared a common chant regarding the critical next phase of the mission:

Dock on baby! Dock on!“*

 

 

*Both Mr. Watson and Mr. Tumlinson understand that Dragon will actually be berthing at ISS, not docking.  However, the chant didn’t work nearly as well that way.

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