Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has issued the following statement in reaction to Space Exploration Technologies successful launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle designed to take astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station, as part of NASA's Commercial Cargo (COTS) demonstration program:
"I congratulate NASA and SpaceX on a successful launch, and wish them success on the demonstrations to be performed on this flight. This test flight is considerably more ambitious than their last test flight and if all of the demonstrations in this complex flight go as planned, the Dragon capsule will berth with the International Space Station and actually deliver cargo to the astronauts. Private industry and NASA are taking these next steps together, which will hopefully become the new way of doing business in space.
"SpaceX once again shows how much it carries the mantle of our earliest space endeavors by achieving what many experts considered impossible just a few short years ago. This successful launch of the Falcon 9, built right here in Southern California, is a new high water mark for developing and building the next generation of commercial domestic rockets.
"This program brings NASA one more step in the right direction. We must change orbital spaceflight from being dependent on and controlled by government employees, toward more entrepreneurial, cost-effective, commercial-based alternatives.
"Stimulating these efforts is helping the private sector to develop and demonstrate safe, reliable, less costly, and more capable space transportation to low Earth orbit. At the same time it enables NASA to focus on discovery and sending humans to explore the far reaches of the space frontier."