Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday commended SpaceX’s launch, adding that he plans to continue the space exploration program. The company launched the first manned shuttle from American soil since 2011 on Saturday afternoon, according to The Hill.
“I congratulate NASA, SpaceX, and all the hardworking women and men who made today a victory for American innovation and persistence,” Biden said Saturday.
The former vice president credited the “years” of work and preparation that went into Saturday’s launch, saying that the Obama administration had a lot to do with the historic event.
“This mission represents the culmination of work begun years ago, and which President Obama and I fought hard to ensure would become a reality.”
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
Biden specifically mentioned that the previous administration “planted the seeds” of the success seen in the Florida launch and the subsequent flight through the 2009 Recovery Act. According to his statement, the $30 billion that was cut from taxes “invigorated” the aerospace industry as a whole and has helped provide jobs to many.
Biden also promised to continue the work on the space project, which has had new life breathed into it with input by private businesses.
“As President, I look forward to advancing America’s commitment to pursuing space exploration and unlocking scientific discoveries that will inspire a new generation of dreamers to gaze up at the sky and imagine all that our future may hold.”
The launch took NASA space shuttle program veterans Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to The Hill. Both Hurley and Behnken were military test pilots and engineers according to Business Insider.
The trip from Earth to the International Space Station, which began at 3:30 pm EDT, is expected to take around 19 hours.
President Donald Trump also weighed in on the event, according to Fox News, calling it “incredible” and a victory for a country that has been worn down by the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Inquisitr previously reported on the successful SpaceX launch, noting that the company was founded by Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in 2002, making it the first privately-owned corporation to make the leap to send people into space and potentially ushering in a new era of spaceflight.
Musk commented on Wednesday — the same day of the launch’s original schedule — that he never really thought his dream would come to reality. The Falcon 9 was developed by Musk’s company in conjunction with Boeing and NASA, who contributed almost $4 billion to the project.