A relief SpaceX CEO Elon Musk welcomed the first NASA astronauts to fly into space with his company’s Crew Dragon vehicle.
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken returned to Earth after two months in orbit and sprayed safely into the waters of the Gulf Coast in front of Florida on Sunday (August 2nd). The astronauts, who were finally back on their home planet, flew to Houston, where the NASA astronaut corps is located. There, musk joined NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine to greet the couple from the test flight home and share their excitement about what’s next.
“I think what this really announces is basically a new era in space,”
In photos: SpaceX’s historic demo 2 test flight with astronauts
Hurley and Behnken’s flight, called Demo-2, was the first crewed flight in NASA’s commercial crew program, in which astronaut trips to the space station were outsourced to companies. This initiative started in 2014. A second company, Boeing, also has a contract with the program and is expected to refly an unscrewed test flight from it Starliner Vehicle after an accident in December left the capsule unable to reach the space station.
Space travel is always risky, however especially during a test flightA fact that astronauts and mission leaders alike acknowledged prior to the demo 2 flight. In his welcoming speeches, Musk made a point about the risk.
“I think all of my adrenaline has just expired, you know? Thank goodness,” Musk said. “I’m not very religious, but I prayed for this.”
Musk also pointed out the context in which Hurley and Behnken made their flight. The couple flew as Pandemic devastated the countryincluding ongoing crises.
“I think this is something that the whole world can enjoy and can really see as an achievement of humanity,” said Musk. “It is difficult times when there is not so much good news. I think this is one of those things that is generally good no matter where you are on planet Earth. This is a good thing and I hope it will brighten your day. “”
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