Some members of Congress cheered when SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft last Tuesday. Some members offered congratulations when the Dragon berthed with the station last Friday. And, yesterday, some praised SpaceX and NASA when the Dragon splashed down successfully in the Pacific off the California coast, completing a test flight widely regarded as a major success for the company as well as for commercial spaceflight.
One member who had not commented on earlier phases of the flight was Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), whose district currently includes the Kennedy Space Center. “I want to congratulate SpaceX on their leap into the history books today,” she said in a statement issued by her office just minutes after the splashdown. Adams saw the mission as an endorsement of the commercial crew model as well. “With the completion of this demonstration mission, we can once again look forward to American astronauts launching on American rockets built by an American workforce.”
In the district adjacent to Adams, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) also praised the flight, adding to comments he made after both the launch and berthing. “This is an important achievement for both SpaceX and the commercial space industry and I’m excited about what the future will hold for space flight.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a staunch proponent of commercial spaceflight, called the flight a “victory for SpaceX, NASA and America” in a statement. “SpaceX’s success represents a bold step toward a future where the free market is unleashed to move humanity beyond the constraints of gravity away from government owned and operated vehicles.”
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) emphasized NASA’s role in the mission in his congratulatory statement, referring to the “NASA/SpaceX Team” in it. “NASA’s support was essential for this mission. I look forward to watching SpaceX complete future missions as a part of its contract with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.”
The chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), also issued a statement about the successful conclusion of the mission. “This was a complex mission and represents an important milestone for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program that will hopefully result in a reliable capability to deliver supplies to our space station.”