Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and NASA for a successful launch and orbital insertion of the Dragon spacecraft this morning. Dragon was launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL and will continue to perform maneuvers and system checks, while maintaining communications at a fly-under distance of 1.5 miles from the International Space Station as part of a demonstration mission under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.
CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria said, “The entire team at SpaceX and at NASA should be commended for their success on this third test flight of the Falcon 9 rocket. The preparations and precautions taken by SpaceX and NASA in months past have contributed to their exemplary performance today. After seeing the smooth launch SpaceX just executed, it is easy to forget that this is indeed rocket science.”
“This is a testament to the viability of the commercial spaceflight industry,” CSF Chairman Eric Anderson said. “Congratulations to SpaceX for successfully completing the first steps of this demonstration flight. Elon and his team’s success today is an important milestone in achieving a sustainable space program.”
“SpaceX’s successful launch this morning is a great accomplishment, and is an important milestone for commercial spaceflight,” said Mark Sirangelo, former Chairman of CSF and current Chairman of Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems. “The Shuttle may be retired, but the American dream of space exploration is alive and well, and the commercial space industry is working hard to provide U.S. access to low-Earth orbit.”
John Logsdon, Professor Emeritus at the George Washington University, Space Policy Institute said, “This demonstration flight for NASA’s COTS program provides valuable experience for SpaceX, but also for NASA and the entire industry that will be carrying cargo and eventually crew to the International Space Station. Congratulations to SpaceX for extending their streak of successful Falcon 9 launches. ”
About the COTS Program
The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) is a NASA program created in 2006 to work with the private sector to develop safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to the International Space Station. The program is fixed-price, milestone-based, and requires cost-sharing with the private sector to protect taxpayer dollars and incentivize performance.