Tags: elon musk | jim bridenstine | nasa | spacex | falcon 9 | iss | kennedy space center

Elon Musk: SpaceX Launch Astronauts Have 'Nerves of Steel'

(CBS News/"CBS This Morning")

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:44 AM

SpaceX founder Elon Musk praised NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley for their "nerves of steel" in the hours before Wednesday afternoon's scheduled Falcon 9 rocket launch, but admitted that the responsibility for SpaceX's most important test is weighing heavily on his mind. 

"I'm the chief engineer," the billionaire Tesla CEO told CBS News' Mark Strassmann on "CBS This Morning" during an interview from Cape Canaveral alongside NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "I'd just like to say if it goes right, it's credit to the SpaceX/NASA team. If it goes wrong, it's my fault … there are thousands of things that can go wrong, and only one thing that can go right." 

Wednesday's launch marks the first time commercial aerospace company SpaceX has carried humans to the International Space Station, though it has had 19 successful cargo launches. 

Musk said that he's done all he can to "improve the quality of success" for the launch, but at this point, all he can do is sit and watch. 

"I really kinda have to kind of mentally block it, because otherwise, it would be emotionally impossible to deal with," he said. 

The Falcon 9 rocket will lift off from Launch Pad 39A, the pad that sent Apollo 11 to the moon. Musk said he considers it an "incredible honor" to share the launch pad used to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. 

Bridenstine told CBS that SpaceX's corporate innovation is key to the future of NASA, and he hopes the launch will get Americans excited, as it marks "the beginning of a commercial marketplace in space."

In a separate interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," Bridenstine noted that there have been no manned space launches since the space shuttle program retired in 2011. 

"About 10 years ago, this place was devastated," he said. "The Kennedy Space Center was demoralized. We weren't flying shuttles, the Constellation program, which was the moon program, was canceled. Thousands and thousands of people were laid off. President [Donald] Trump has really come and brought it back and our budgets are strong."

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk praised NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley for their "nerves of steel" in the hours before Wednesday afternoon's scheduled Falcon 9 rocket launch, but admitted that the responsibility for SpaceX's most important test is weighing...
elon musk, jim bridenstine, nasa, spacex, falcon 9, iss, kennedy space center
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2020-44-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:44 AM
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