Clarification, Congratulations Follow ’60 Minutes’ Segment on SpaceX [Space Politics]

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A recently rebroadcast segment on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” about Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) drew criticism for its portrayal of Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and others as negative toward commercial space, leading to a clarification from host Scott Pelley and a gesture from several astronauts to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Space Politics reports.

The clarification specifically addressed Pelley’s assertion in the segment that Armstrong “had testified against commercial space flight.” “We should have made it explicit in our story that, while Armstrong was ‘not confident’ that the newcomers could achieve safety and cost goals in the near term, he did want to ‘encourage’ them,” Pelley wrote.

Nine Apollo astronauts followed up by signing a photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with congratulatory messages for Musk on the SpaceX Dragon capsule’s successful mission to the international space station in May. “A real breakthrough — much success on many flights to come!” wrote Apollo 13’s Fred Haise.

 

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