WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), today made the following statement after the SpaceX test flight of the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida:
“This first successful test flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9
rocket is a belated sign that efforts to develop modest commercial space cargo
capabilities are showing some promising signs. While this test flight was
important, the program to demonstrate commercial cargo and crew transport
capabilities, which I support, was intended to enhance not replace NASA’s own
proven abilities to deliver critical cargo and humans to low Earth orbit.
Make no mistake, even this modest success is more than a year behind schedule,
and the project deadlines of other private space companies continue to slip as well.
This test does not change the fact that commercial space programs are not ready
to close the gap in human spaceflight if the space shuttle is retired this year
with no proven replacement capability and the Constellation program is
simultaneously cancelled as the President proposes.”
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