Hawthorne, CA - Today the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $500 million for Commercial Spaceflight as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s 2012 budget. This will support the Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev), a NASA initiative with the goal of safely and rapidly restoring America's domestic capability to carry astronauts into space.
With the Space Shuttle's retirement earlier this year, the United States became wholly reliant on Russia to carry American astronauts to the space station. SpaceX is currently one of four companies to receive funding under the CCDev program.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technology Officer, issued the following statement:
"The United States needs alternatives for carrying American astronauts, and we need them as soon as possible," said SpaceX CEO and chief rocket designer Elon Musk. "The investments made by this legislation will accelerate efforts to return America to launching astronauts and reduce our dependency on Russia. With the failure of the Soyuz booster last month, this effort is more important than ever.
"NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program is the most fiscally responsible means to rapidly advance human spaceflight. It has protected taxpayer dollars with fixed-price, pay-for-performance contracts. It fosters competition that forces companies to compete on reliability, capability and cost. And it leverages private investment - making taxpayer dollars go further.
"SpaceX applauds Chairwoman Mikulski, Ranking Member Hutchison and the Members of the Subcommittee for recognizing the value of the program. With the support of Congress, American companies will soon be able to end the flow of tax dollars to Russia and instead invest in high-tech American jobs."