The scheduled launch of the first manned rocket from the United States to the International Space Station is an important step that will save millions of dollars and restore leadership in space to Americans, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday.
"What has happened, in contrast to 2011 when President (Barack) Obama took us out of the space launch business, that ended our leadership in space launch. Now we are going to get it back," Ross told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "This is the first time since then that American rockets, American astronauts (are going) to the American Space Station and that's really important. We were paying the Russians up to $86 million per seat to take our astronauts to our space station. That's now over with and it's important both commercially and militarily."
President Donald Trump has created the Space Force, he added, a whole new branch of the military because "space will be the new war-fighting domain," but the commercial side of the equation is also "very, very important."
"It's bringing the cost of everything down and that's what's going to facilitate space tourism, space manufacturing, space habitation, space mining, a whole bunch of new activities and that will take the industry from its current $400 billion total to over a trillion dollars," said Ross. "This is a very, very big deal and it's going to happen hopefully precisely at 4:33 p.m. this afternoon from the famous launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Station at Cape Canaveral."
Astronauts Doug Hurley, who piloted the Atlantis shuttle, and Bob Behnken are set to blast off aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule atop its Falcon 9 rocket. They will be the first Americans to be launched from Cape Canaveral since Hurley and three others took off in Atlantis on July 8, 2011.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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