Yuri’s Night, the World Space Party, today congratulated Elon Musk and the employees of SpaceX on the successful completion of their combined COTS 2+ mission. SpaceX became the first private company to successfully send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, dock and unload cargo, and return the Dragon capsule to Earth at 11:42 AM (ET) this morning.
“This is truly a historic day in space exploration, as SpaceX demonstrated their end-to-end system from launch, to rendezvous, to berthing at the ISS, and safely returning to Earth. This opens new horizons for both commercial and private space ventures,” said Yuri’s Night Executive Director Dr. Ryan Kobrick. “For the inspiration that they have given to space fans and future astronauts around the world, we want to thank SpaceX for helping us to Rock The Planet!”
SpaceX’s Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral at 3:44 AM (ET) on May 22, 2012, atop a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, and berthed with the International Space Station at 12:02 PM on May 25. Dragon carried a 1,000-pound payload of food and other supplies; the Falcon 9 rocket also carried ashes from figures such as Star Trek‘s James Doohan and National Space Society activist Chris Pancratz into space.
Yuri’s Night, which is supported in part by the Musk Foundation, officially wrapped up its 2012 activities at the NSS’s International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC last weekend, and is currently in the preliminary stages of planning its 2013 events. In April 2012, Yuri’s Night hosted over 230 parties in 51 countries on all seven continents which brought scientists, artists, educators and space enthusiasts together to celebrate humanity’s past, present and future in space.