Well, SpaceX just scored a huge milestone in space travel for the proletariat: we get to come back now. The FAA just gave SpaceX's Dragon capsule a reentry license, paving the way for it to make round trips to the International Space Station and eventually even take people up there. NASA, who already has some hefty contracts with SpaceX for launches, has congratulated SpaceX over Twitter on the good news, though we're sure the few billion dollars in future business speaks volumes already. Engadget's own Chad Mumm, resident Space Destiny Enthusiast, had this to say about the momentous occasion:
"We're standing on the shoulders of our ancestors, reaching out a small, child-like hand at the stars. And then returning safely to earth thanks to FAA certification. We're on the verge of the impossible."
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NASA Statements on FAA Granting Reentry License to SpaceX
WASHINGTON Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA issued the following statements Monday after the Federal Aviation Administration issued SpaceX a license for spacecraft reentry:
"Congratulations to the SpaceX team for receiving the Federal Aviation Administration's first-ever commercial license to reenter a spacecraft from Earth orbit," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said. "With this license in hand, SpaceX can proceed with its launch of the Dragon capsule. The flight of Dragon will be an important step toward commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station. NASA wishes SpaceX every success with the launch."
"Milestones are an important part of space exploration and SpaceX achieved a very important one today," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. "I congratulate SpaceX on this landmark achievement and wish them the best with their launch of the Dragon capsule."