|Stephanie Schierholz from the NASA office of communications hosts a post-launch briefing on the status of the SpaceX CRS-7 resupply mission on June 28th. The briefing included statements from SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell, NASA associate administrator William H. (Bill) Gerstenmaier, NASA ISS manager Michael Suffredini and Pam Underwood, the FAA’s deputy division manager in the office of commercial space transportation. The participants each gave quick statements and then responded to questions from the reporters in attendance. Screen shot and video c/o NASA.|
In addition, a Japanese HTV-1 cargo spacecraft will visit the space station in August. According to NASA, the international docking adapter (meant to provide a standardized docking interface for commercial spacecraft) that was destroyed has a backup that will be sent up on a future flight. NASA has also stated that a December-scheduled ISS resupply flight to be flown on an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft may be moved up.
We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months. We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight. The commercial cargo program was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles. We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system.
SpaceX has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in its first six cargo resupply missions to the station, and we know they can replicate that success. We will work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure and correct it to move forward. This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback. Today’s launch attempt will not deter us from our ambitious human spaceflight program.
Today, our thoughts go out to the hard working team at SpaceX. It’s important to see this event as yet another learning experience for the commercial space industry that will only increase the probability of SpaceX’s success with the Falcon 9 in the future. Space is hard, incredibly hard, just as aviation and ocean voyages were in their infancies, but with the unwavering determination of companies like SpaceX and the NewSpace community, I have no doubt we will overcome the inevitable setbacks only to return stronger and even more determined.