Dragon landed safely in the sea this morning, the first cargo spacecraft to return from the ISS.
Photo by Michael Altenhofen. NASA news
And from the White House: "Today, history was made in space."
Buzz Aldrin: "Falcon 9’s maiden flight to ISS – and the other commercial space launches that lie ahead - represent the dawn of a new era in space exploration. Nearly 43 years after we first walked on the moon, we have taken another step in demonstrating continued American leadership in space.”
Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9: “The arrival and docking of the Dragon space capsule at the ISS is more than historic. It is, in fact, the beginning of a new era in space exploration, one in which private industry and individual initiative will begin leading the way in the use of near-space activity. This is not only exciting and momentous, but is fully in keeping with the American character of risk taking and consequent reward. The long term results of this “first” are beyond our ability to see at the beginning of this era, but there is no doubt that it will serve as a huge incentive for young people who now have firm evidence of the value, and opportunity for individual initiative. Near-Earth space is now firmly a regular part of the human environment along with the air, water, and land. The future is now, once again, opened to imagination, creativity, and dreams!”