From: Explore Mars
Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2020
On July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) landed at Kennedy Space Center after a two week trip to the International Space Station. This marked not only the completion of a successful mission, but the end of the Space Shuttle program and the beginning of an almost decade-long hiatus in American crewed launch capability.
On May 30, 2020, however, this long gap in American crewed access to space ended when a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule lifted off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket, transporting NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to Low Earth Orbit on their way to the International Space Station (ISS).
Explore Mars, Inc. congratulates SpaceX and NASA for this tremendous achievement and for proving a new model for launching humans into space. "This is a truly historic launch," stated Explore Mars CEO, Chris Carberry. "Not only are astronauts being launched from American soil again, but this mission also represents the beginning of what could be the most significant decade of human spaceflight in history. By the end of the decade, humanity may well be back on the Moon and well on the path towards human missions to Mars.”
This launch is part of the NASA Commercial Crew Program that selected SpaceX and Boeing to develop vehicles for the purpose of transporting astronauts to and from the ISS. By selecting two companies to build crew vehicles, NASA aims to establish a redundancy and sustainability in human-rated launch vehicles that has never previously existed.
Explore Mars, Inc. President, Janet Ivey, stated, "Today marks the moment the door has been opened for the students of today and tomorrow to pursue a new dream, a new hope of space, settlement and discovery; space is now accessible, the frontier lies ahead, the Moon and Mars await...today we didn't just launch a rocket...we launched the lives of future space explorers."
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