Senator Richard Shelby today continued to tout Alabama’s role in American spaceflight. Shelby took to Twitter to highlight the fact that United Launch Alliance (ULA) rockets made in Decatur, Alabama were going to help power American astronauts back into space.
Exciting day for American spaceflight! @NASA announced 9 brave astronauts selected to fly @BoeingSpace/@SpaceX commercial crew capsules, part of which will be powered by @ULALaunch Atlas V made in #Decatur. This is a new era as we once again launch humans into space from US soil. https://t.co/SCayTOPfv1
— Richard Shelby (@SenShelby) August 3, 2018
According to NASA, it will be the first time since 2011 that it will launch “American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.”
The NASA announcement also named the nine astronauts on the mission flying commercial aircraft to and from the International Space Station.
Astronaut Josh Cassada has already gotten a first-hand glimpse at just how vital a role ULA and the workers at its Decatur facility have in the next chapter of American spaceflight.
“A few of us had a chance to fly up to Alabama and meet some of the most talented, hardworking men and women at ULA who are building our rocket, and I’ll tell you, we are in great hands,” said Cassada.
While ULA rockets have powered unmanned American missions to Mars, ULA President and CEO Tony Bruno testified recently before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about his company’s vision for expanding those missions.
“Acts of Congress and Presidential directives reflect the high priority for the United States Government has long placed on human space exploration,” said Bruno. “With this continuing commitment, Americans will surely land on Mars as they landed on the Moon.”