The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) has announced its support of the SpaceX and commercial mission to carry NASA crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), the company reported on Tuesday.
SFF commented that the launch will mark a turning point in space operations, stating that “When Dragon berths with ISS later this week, the U.S. starts the next phase of opening the space frontier,” said SFF chairman, Sean Mahoney.
In 2019, SFF helped develop the policy groundwork that enabled the SpaceX flight and the Boeing flight. The company noted that governments enable the growth of private industry in space.
“To anyone supporting the idea of human settlement in space, it’s fundamental that private citizens be able to get there and back cheaply and reliably. A few years ago, we had the first commercial cargo flights, and now commercial crew. It is a huge moment for us,” said SFF co-founder, Rick Tumlinson.
SFF commented that NASA and governments have a large role to play in the transition from exploration to development. The SpaceX mission will build on government support and move into competition for private customers.
SFF stated that the commercial partnerships should continue to expand and offer programs where the model could be applied. The partnerships would save taxpayer money and introduce a NewSpace industrial economy.
“This is a great model for how things can work between governments and private sector in space,” said Meagan Crawford, SFF board member and managing partner of SpaceFund. “NASA needs low cost, reliable ways to meet its mission objectives. Private companies need anchor customers and R&D support. It’s a perfect match, and one we should emulate in all areas of NASA and government space activities.”
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. As one of the world’s fastest growing providers of launch services, SpaceX has secured over 100 missions to its manifest, representing over $12 billion on contract.