Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), the lead Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for NASA appropriations, issued the following statement on this morning’s explosion of the unmanned SpaceX Dragon vehicle that was intended to send research and supplies to the International Space Station:

“I join with all in the space community to express my disappointment in today’s launch failure of the SpaceX Dragon vehicle headed to the International Space Station.  Since the explosion, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has briefed me on all known details surrounding the loss of the SpaceX cargo resupply mission. Administrator Bolden shared NASA’s plans for an investigation into what went wrong, and I confirmed my support for a government analysis of today’s launch vehicle failure. I also reiterated to him my strong and sustained support for both Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs.

“We know that there are risks in space exploration and as we continue to move forward expanding our human spaceflight program, there will be challenges along the way.  Despite today’s setback, we must remain committed to advancing the U.S. space program, and to supporting the efforts of private companies like SpaceX who have partnered with NASA to further expand and develop our space capabilities.”