Falcon 9 Soars to Space

A message from Peter Diamandis, on behalf of the X PRIZE Foundation

Today we congratulate SpaceX, a company founded and run by X PRIZE Trustee Elon Musk, on the first successful launch of the Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. This inaugural test flight is an important step forward after many years of hard work in design, development, and construction of both the new launch vehicle and the Dragon capsule, both of which will be used in future missions to ferry cargo and crew to the International Space Station. Today’s flight provided essential testing of the Falcon 9 and the Dragon qualification unit, providing invaluable data for SpaceX as they continue to develop their space vehicles and operations.

The maiden voyage of the Falcon 9 marks an important milestone in commercial spaceflight, proving what is achievable by privately-owned companies that are dedicated to pioneering new technologies and making space more accessible. Overcoming the high cost of launching to orbit continues to be a challenge faced by space-related ventures, and the emergence of launch vehicles such as the Falcon 9 contributes to an increasingly competitive environment in the launch vehicle market – a condition which has the potential to drive costs down and open the space frontier to the rest of us. In the not-too-distant future, we hope to see SpaceX and other commercial launch providers transporting crew and cargo to orbiting outposts, the Moon, asteroids, and even Mars.

Also commendable is the continuous dedication to quality, reliability, and safety by SpaceX as they move forward with their ambitious plans. This mindset is one of the many reasons that SpaceX is a Preferred Partner for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and it is worth noting that several of the teams entered in the competition are already considering utilizing rockets such as the Falcon 9 to boost their robots to the Moon in pursuit of the $30 million in prizes.

Again, congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on a successful launch today. We wish them the best as they continue to progress higher and faster toward their bold space exploration goals.

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