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Space Industry Leaders and Astronauts Congratulate SpaceX on Historic Flight of Dragon Spacecraft

Press Release From: Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

image Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - Space industry leaders, astronauts, and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation are issuing the following statements following the successful launch, orbital operation, and splashdown of the Dragon capsule, a milestone in commercial spaceflight:

Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation:

"It's a milestone on the path to realizing the first commercial human spaceflight capability. It's historic in that it's the beginning of a paradigm shift from a government human spaceflight architecture to one that opens up human spaceflight to the private sector."

Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems and Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation:

"On behalf of all the members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation I would like to send our congratulations to Elon, Gwynne Shotwell and everyone working at SpaceX. The spaceflight community has received a historic piece of great news today. Years of hard work, resources and risk went into this flight and have led to this terrific achievement that stands as a door-opener for a new era in space."

Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida:

"This flight marks another giant leap forward on the path of commercial spaceflight. Florida's aerospace workforce can take special pride that SpaceX's launch happened right here at the Space Coast. This success means more jobs for Florida and Floridians, and promises a vibrant commercial space capability for the nation. Florida is proud to host SpaceX for launch operations, and we look forward to many more flights of the Falcon and Dragon spacecraft as SpaceX and other commercial companies continue to create new jobs for Florida's aerospace workforce."

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation:

"In NASA's new plans for space exploration a new player has taken center stage - American capitalism and entrepreneurship - and today's SpaceX success strengthens my hope that entrepreneurial commercial space companies will at long last remove the cost barrier that slows our exploration of the solar system."

Eric Anderson, Chairman of Space Adventures:

"What a tremendous accomplishment for SpaceX to succeed on the first Dragon spacecraft launch attempt. We see a bright future for the commercial spaceflight industry and today was another advancement."

Byron Lichtenberg, former Space Shuttle astronaut:

"I expect that there will be a lot more astronauts in the future because of today's success with Dragon. Lower cost launches means more flights, which means more astronauts. We've only had 500 astronauts in the history of the Space Age, but I hope to see thousands more in the decades to come thanks to new spacecraft like Dragon."

Dr. Alan Stern, former NASA Associate Administrator for Science and now Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute:

"Congratulations to SpaceX on this historic achievement and giant leap forward! Falcon 9, Dragon, and similar commercial rockets and spacecraft will open up commercial spaceflight in new ways, and make NASA's Space Station program far stronger. They'll also someday hopefully reduce or eliminate the need to depend on Russian launchers to get NASA astronauts to and from the Station, and that's extremely important."

Mike Lounge, former Space Shuttle astronaut:

"This is an exciting tipping point for commercial space. It goes a long way to validate a legitimate role for private enterprise in space exploration. Congratulations to SpaceX for their successful mission!"

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation's member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at john@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.349.1121.

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