Commercial Spaceflight Hits a Milestone

Boeing and SpaceX are slated to test-fly spacecraft, first for NASA and then the private sector


When Chris Ferguson commanded the final space shuttle mission in July 2011, he and his crew members left behind something on the International Space Station: a small American flag that had flown on the first shuttle mission three decades earlier. “It will hopefully maintain a position of honor until the next vehicle launched from U.S. soil brings U.S. astronauts up to dock with the space station,” Ferguson explained in a call with President Obama during the mission.

“I understand it’s going to be sort of a ‘capture the flag’ moment here for commercial spaceflight,” Obama responded.

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