Statement: The Race is On – Space Frontier Foundation Congratulates SpaceX on Breakthrough Rocket Recovery

Statement: The Race is On – Space Frontier Foundation Congratulates SpaceX on Breakthrough Rocket Recovery

December 21, 2015 Featured, Press Releases

Statement
The Race is On – Space Frontier Foundation Congratulates SpaceX on Breakthrough Rocket Recovery

SILICON VALLEY, CALIF. – Dec. 21, 2015 – The Space Frontier Foundation commends SpaceX and its hundreds of pioneering employees on the successful ORBCOMM-2 Falcon 9 launch, and most excitingly, the recovery and precision landing of the rocket’s first stage. Today, SpaceX has moved commercial spaceflight forward as the first entity to send a rocket to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return it to Earth, intact. The ability to fully reuse rockets will drastically reduce the cost of access to space, which has the potential to unlock a new, accelerated chapter in human space exploration.

“The new space race is truly on; this time not between countries, but between companies,” said Hannah Kerner, executive director of the Space Frontier Foundation. “The leaps SpaceX and Blue Origin made this year marks a paradigm shift in how we access space – get ready, because a space venture boom is just around the corner.”

On Dec. 21, 2015, SpaceX launched an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, placing 11 Orbcomm satellites into orbit, and then successfully landed and recovered the first stage. This is not SpaceX’s first milestone – the leading space startup completed a round trip to the ISS, a feat previously achieved only by government agencies, was certified by the U.S. Air Force as one of only two launch providers for military satellites and won a NASA Commercial Crew contract worth $2.6 billion, to ferry the next generation of astronauts to the ISS.

“The staggering price of spaceflight has been the single greatest deterrent to a thriving space market,” added Kerner. “What we’re seeing is not just billionaires playing with rockets – it’s actually a clear step towards opening up the space frontier to the average person.”

The cost of launching American astronauts to the ISS is $70 million per person. With SpaceX’s success, the cost could be reduced to below $7 million and has the potential to drop to under $700,000.

Modern-day space entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, have the ability to overcome the space industry’s financial ‘barrier to entry’, breaking down the high capital wall for others to follow: “It only took Steve Jobs hundreds of dollars to get started on Apple, but rockets require tens of millions to build,” finished Kerner.

Again, congratulations to the SpaceX team – the Space Frontier Foundation eagerly awaits what milestones the commercial space industry will realize in 2016. For those interested in space, now is the time to get involved.

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Contacts:
Space Frontier Foundation
Alexandra Abrams
(925) 918-0081, alexandra.abrams@spacefrontier.org