SpaceX CEO Elon Musk celebrates after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Picture: Steve Nesius/Reuters
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk celebrates after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Picture: Steve Nesius/Reuters

Cyril Ramaphosa applauds Elon Musk on historic space flight

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his congratulations to Pretoria-born and raised tech billionaire and engineer, Elon Musk on his company’s first commercial flight into space. 

In a statement, Ramaphosa said, “In the midst of our struggle against Covid-19, Elon Musk has made us proud as a country and continent.”

Powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon spacecraft carried NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Dough Hurley, into space on Saturday. Nineteen hours later, the crew docked safely at the International Space Station (ISS).

This marks the first time in history that a private sector entity launched astronauts for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is a state owned entity. 

Musk holds South African, Canadian and United States citizenship. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, prepare to lift off. Picture: Chris O'Meara/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Ramaphosa commended the entrepreneur for his resilience and vision. 

“The Dragon’s successful flight to the International Space Station speaks of the ability of a resilient, industrious, fearless and visionary individual to harness talent and material resources to open new frontiers of hope, adventure and opportunity for generations into the future,” said the president. 

“It is most appropriate that we have been given this hope and excitement at a time when insecurity and uncertainty defines the human condition in many parts of the world,” he added. 

In an interview with space.com, Musk said: “I'm really quite overcome with emotion on this day, so it's kind of hard to talk, frankly.”

“It's been 18 years working towards this goal, so it's hard to believe that it's happened."

African News Agency/ANA

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