After a decade having to hitchhike on Russian Soyuz Rockets (at $86 million per astronaut) to the International Space Station, The United States launched the Elon Musk company created Space X Crew Dragon Spacecraft with Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the Musk Company constructed Falcon Nine Rocket.
Please see the video of the launch below:
The crew will spend a month with fellow Astronauts at the International Space Station.
Reacting to the historic development, President Donald Trump actually made several moving remarks to commemorate the event.
“The same spirit which powered our astronauts to the moon has also helped lift our country to ever-greater heights of justice and opportunity throughout our history. So, today as we mark a renewed commitment to America’s future in space — a tremendous commitment it is — let us also commit to a brighter future for all of our citizens right here on Earth.”
“What Col. Douglas Hurley and Col. Robert Behnken did this afternoon was pure American genius and courage, They joined the ranks of just seven prior American astronauts who have made the perilous maiden voyage to test a new class of spacecraft.”
“Today, the groundbreaking partnership between NASA and SpaceX has given our nation the gift of an unmatched power — a state-of-the-art spaceship to put our astronauts into orbit at a fraction of the cost of the space shuttle. And it’s much better.”
“From now on, the United States will leverage the fast-growing capabilities of our commercial sector and the finest pieces of real estate on Earth, which you need very badly, to send U.S. astronauts into space. Today’s launch makes clear that the commercial space industry is the future.”
If only Mr. Trump had ended there.
He then went off on his favorite hobbies, lying and self-promotion, declaring that past administrations had killed the Space Program and he was its savior.
Please click here to read the NPR fact check and here for the New York Times one to see how the Bush and Obama Administrations (like the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson helped pave the way for Apollo 11) led the way for the launching of Space X from United States soil today.
Captain Mark Kelly, a former Astronaut and current Arizona Democratic Candidate for the United States Senate tweeted Congratulations and God Speed to the Astronauts and their mission to the Space Station.
Former Vice President and the 2020 Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden also issued a statement which read:
“Today, in lifting our ambitions and our imaginations to the heavens, the United States has once more reshaped the future of space travel. When Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to the International Space Station, they added their names to the long list of heroes who have changed the way we think about our universe and our place in it. Their voyage not only marks the return of American astronauts traveling to space from U.S. soil, but a pioneering new phase of public-private cooperation for the peaceful exploration of space.”
“I congratulate NASA, SpaceX, and all the hardworking women and men who made today a victory for American innovation and persistence. This mission represents the culmination of work begun years ago, and which President Obama and I fought hard to ensure would become a reality. We planted the seeds of today’s success during the 2009 Recovery Act, which according to NASA, has saved taxpayers up to $30 billion and invigorated an aerospace industry in Florida that accounts for more than 130,000 jobs in the state.”
“As President, I look forward to advancing America’s commitment to pursuing space exploration and unlocking scientific discoveries that will inspire a new generation of dreamers to gaze up at the sky and imagine all that our future may hold.”
This country needs a vibrant space program that can complement other science areas like combatting climate change and advances in medical science as well as explore the heavens.
This program, if properly harnessed, could help reduce societal and cultural inequities and ills around the world.
It is sad that this historic launch came at the end of a tragic week where thousands perished due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and societal unrest burst into the open around the world as many protestors took to the streets to march against the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and other victims of racial injustice over the last month.
Congressional District Six Candidate (and 2018 nominee) Anita Malik may have captured the mood of most in the country when she posted on Facebook:
“My boys and I huddled around to watch the SpaceX NASA launch earlier today, and my heart hurt.”
“To see our American ingenuity, our will to work together on display was stunning, but it gave me pause.”
“When will we show the same will to heal our communities, our people and end the deadly injustices that plague our country?”
“The mounting loss from COVID-19 and the hateful and senseless deaths of George, Ahmaud, Dion, Breonna, and too many more are failures of leadership.”
“We are reeling from loss. There must be action.”
Ms. Malik is right.
After a week of Tragedy, the Launch of Space X shows the Good Humanity is capable of.
There is nothing for the good that can not be accomplished if everyone puts aside prejudice and hatred and looks forward to making the world a better place for the children of today or tomorrow.
Hopefully, the launch of Space X will inaugurate a new age of American leadership in Astronomical science and exploration that will benefit all people.
Hopefully, it will catapult our leaders to make the world we live on better as well.