NASA's leader visits SpaceX headquarters

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visited SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, capping a tour of SpaceX facilities to thank employees for their part in making the first mission by a private company to the International Space Station a success.

Bolden and SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk addressed more than 1,000 employees who helped design, launch and safely recover the company's Dragon capsule in May following its trip to the space station.

"NASA has its sights set on reaching an asteroid and Mars and commercial space companies like SpaceX are helping make that possible by taking over the challenging transportation of cargo to low Earth orbit," Bolden said. "The International Space Station is the key to our human spaceflight efforts right now and SpaceX's successful resupply demonstration mission helped ensure it can achieve its full potential. We look forward to Dragon becoming a regular visitor to the station."

While on-site, Bolden had an opportunity to see the first Dragon spacecraft to be recovered by the company in December 2010, following a demonstration mission to orbit and safely return a capsule.

Photo credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily News

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