President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated Pretoria-born global technology pioneer Elon Musk for his company SpaceX’s historic first commercial flight into space, saying he has made South Africa proud.
Powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space on Saturday, en route to docking with the International Space Station 19 hours later. This was the first time in history that a private-sector entity launched astronauts for NASA, which is an entity of the United States government.
“In the midst of our struggle against COVID-19, Elon Musk has made us proud as a country and continent,” Ramaphosa said.
“The Dragon’s successful flight to the International Space Station speaks of the ability of a resilient, industrious, fearless and visionary individual to harness talent and material resources to open new frontiers of hope, adventure and opportunity for generations into the future.
“It is most appropriate that we have been given this hope and excitement at a time when insecurity and uncertainty defines the human condition in many parts of the world,” said Ramaphosa.
Musk holds South African, Canadian and United States citizenship.