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The Dawn of a New Age in Space Innovation

May 30, 2020
Press Release


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McCarthy watches the SpaceX launch from Air Force 1.

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McCarthy and President Air Force 1.

Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy congratulated the teams at NASA and SpaceX on the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This marks the first time American astronauts launched into orbit from American soil in nearly 10 years. This is also the first time that NASA Astronauts are being transported into orbit from a commercial space company, SpaceX, and ferried to the International Space Station.

McCarthy released the following statement:

“Today, I salute the teams at NASA and SpaceX who have built upon our country’s proud legacy of innovation and spaceflight. The launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is a testament to American ingenuity and our country’s profound ability to overcome challenges as they arise, particularly in the age of COVID-19.

“As the Representative of California’s 23rd Congressional District, I am proud to say our community has made critical contributions to space missions like Apollo, and continues to make groundbreaking accomplishments to this day. I greatly support our country’s cutting-edge space endeavors. It wasn’t that long ago that spaceflight seemed nearly impossible. Now, this historic step will take our nation’s space enterprise to new heights, and I look forward to witnessing what our country does next.” 

Background:

  • California’s 23rd Congressional District is home to the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rocket Lab, Edwards Air Force Base, Mojave Air and Space Port, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. These organizations have played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for many of America’s most important space innovations. To learn more about Kern County’s contributions to America’s space endeavors, you can read Rep. McCarthy’s releases here and here.
  • McCarthy has been a proud proponent of commercial spaceflight. In 2015, he led the charge to make it easier for innovators to test and develop the next generation of spacecraft that will take us to Mars and beyond through the SPACE Act, which was signed into law.
  • Rep. McCarthy has also has been a staunch advocate for federal funding opportunities like NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which allows taxpayers to benefit from the incredible innovations made by commercial space companies such as today’s launch.