Washington, DC – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) on his confirmation as Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
“We applaud the Senate’s confirmation of Jim Bridenstine to lead NASA. NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said Dr. Alan Stern, board chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “Congratulations to Representative Bridenstine on this appointment to lead NASA: We look forward to working with you to advance America’s civil and commercial spaceflight enterprises. We also thank Acting Administrator Lightfoot for his leadership since January of 2017.“
“Since he was elected to Congress, Representative Bridenstine has been a constant champion and advocate for the space industry, being keenly aware of the benefits it provides the nation.” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “His knowledge and passion for space, science, and technology will serve him well in the position of Administrator.”
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity successfully completed its first supersonic, rocket-powered test flight at Mojave Air and Space Port. VSS Unity is the first vehicle to be built from start to finish by The Spaceship Company. The successful test flight marks a significant milestone for both Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, as VSS Unity transitions into the final stages of its flight test program.
“VSS Unity’s rocket-powered test flight is a major accomplishment for Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Virgin Galactic as VSS Unity joins a growing number of commercial space vehicles that will provide cost-effective and frequent access to suborbital space for humans and research payloads.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Bigelow Aerospace on the announcement of Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a new commercial space company which will manage and operate the standalone space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace. BSO has also announced a partner agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to fly payloads to the International Space Station.
“This exciting new endeavor is exemplary of the commercial space industry’s promotion of economic growth and job creation.”said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “With the creation of BSO, and their partnership with fellow CSF member CASIS, we look forward to the many new mission opportunities that will be created for academic, commercial, government, and private customers.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is encouraged by the expansion of commercial partnerships in the FY19 budget request, which establishes a strong role for the innovative approaches necessary to advance America’s economic and exploration leadership in space. Although there are many positive aspects in this budget that we like, we have serious questions and reservations about the proposals to reorganize Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) under the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and to end government funding for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025. We look forward to continued work with the Administration and Congress to answer those questions, and on passing a budget that fully leverages the commercial capabilities to continue America’s leadership in space.
The commercial space industry is achieving innovative breakthroughs daily, which are challenging conventional wisdom and long-held beliefs. To ensure the Administration’s human and scientific exploration goals are achieved at lower costs, accelerated timelines, and with the best value for the taxpayer, every appropriate facet of the NASA budget should be open to commercial competition, including the Lunar Exploration Campaign.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates SpaceX on today’s successful test launch of their Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, the most powerful rocket to launch since the Apollo program and the first fully privately funded vehicle of its weight class. The successful liftoff of the Falcon Heavy towards Mars orbit demonstrates a unique capability to launch commercial, national security, and civil exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
“Today’s successful Falcon Heavy launch represents a momentous milestone for SpaceX and the commercial space industry, as the first heavy lift launch vehicle developed and launched with fully private funding. It serves as another example of how U.S. commercial companies continue to drive innovation and American leadership in space” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “As we look forward to all that 2018 holds for the U.S. commercial space industry, this is an exciting way to kick off the new year.”
“The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) applauds SpaceX, NASA, and all the commercial entities onboard today’s successful commercial resupply launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Using a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket and a previously-flown Dragon that visited the ISS earlier this year, this significant flight marked a major advance in launch vehicle reusability and affordability,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “Today’s launch marks the 20th time SpaceX has successfully launched and landed a booster, taking another step forward toward making reliable, reusable, routine access to space the norm. Innovation from commercial companies is the driving force in maintaining American leadership in space.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Blue Origin on the seventh New Shepard flight from their West Texas Launch Site. Known as Mission 7 (M7), the successful mission featured the next-generation booster and the first flight of Crew Capsule 2.0. M7 also included 12 commercial, research and education payloads onboard.
“This is another great milestone for the team at Blue Origin and the commercial spaceflight industry as a whole” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “We are excited and enthusiastic about everything Blue has in the pipeline. 2018 will be an exciting year for their team and our industry.”
“CSF applauds President Trump for signing Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to partner with the U.S. commercial space industry to return Americans to the Moon,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “The U.S. commercial space industry has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations, and resource utilization, leading to many lower cost innovative approaches that can benefit this new era of lunar exploration. CSF urges the Administration to direct NASA to leverage these capabilities to generate greater efficiency and quicker solutions, and to partner with industry through flexible, innovative contracting approaches, to accelerate progress towards achieving the goals set out in Space Policy Directive 1.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) on their successful Free-Flight test of Dream Chaser at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, with support from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.
The test verified and validated the performance of Dream Chaser’s final approach and landing phase of flight, modeling future returns from the International Space Station. This test signifies the completion of a major milestone and moves the program one step closer to orbital flight.
“Sierra Nevada Corporation’s successful test is an exciting step towards a commercially reusable spacecraft that will service and deliver cargo to the International Space Station as well as other destinations,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “We offer our congratulations to the SNC team and NASA on this important accomplishment which will further advance commercial capabilities in space.”