FleaPlus writes: The successful inaugural launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9, privately developed and built at a cost of less than $400M (including another Falcon 9 to be launched this summer and five earlier Falcon 1 rockets), has been hailed by a number of space organizations and former astronauts. However, it's also quite interesting to look at the reactions from those in Congress who control the purse-strings for NASA (one of SpaceX's biggest customers). The successful launch was congratulated by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL and former astronaut) and Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), both praised and criticized by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) due to the successful launch being a year later than previously predicted, and blasted by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) for merely replicating what 'NASA accomplished in 1964,' who added that the company's success 'must not be confused with progress for our nation's human spaceflight program.'
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