Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskPrince William urges focus on saving planet instead of space travel Democrats' electric vehicle push sparks intense lobbying fight Blue Origin is taking William Shatner to space — but can it distract from internal criticism? MORE took to social media on Sunday to mock President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE for failing to comment on his company SpaceX’s historic space flight.
“The President of the United States has refused to even acknowledge the 4 newest American astronauts who helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for St. Jude,” a user asked on Twitter. “What’s your theory on why that is?”
Musk responded, “He’s still sleeping.”
He’s still sleeping— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2021
Asked about Musk's comment, the White House sent The Hill a statement that didn't mention SpaceX by name but applauded "the ingenuity of our private sector."
"It’s that ingenuity that will help our nation continue advancing to the next of our nation’s space exploration," said a senior administration official. "As NASA administrator Nelson said, they've helped demonstrate that low-Earth orbit is open for business."
Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway Technology is easy but politics is hard for NASA's Lunar Human Landing System MORE, a former U.S. senator and NASA administrator, tweeted his congratulations after SpaceX launched the first all-civilian crew into orbit from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Congratulations, #Inspiration4! With today's splashdown, you've helped demonstrate that low-Earth orbit is open for business.— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) September 19, 2021
The crew included Chris Sembroski, an engineer for Lockheed Martin; Jared Isaacman, a billionaire leading the mission; Sian Proctor, a college professor from Phoenix; and Hayley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor and current physician’s assistant.
During the three-day space mission, SpaceX advised that “the @Inspiration4x crew will conduct scientific research designed to advance human health on Earth and during future long-duration spaceflights.”
The Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully landed back on Earth off the Florida coast on Saturday.
The mission also aimed to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Arceneaux was once treated. The Inspiration4 mission had raise $160.2 million when the crew returned on Saturday, and Musk pledged to donate an additional $50 million, bringing the total to $210 million.
Though Biden and the White House have not commented on the historic flight, other high-profile agencies, companies, and officials have.
“Welcome back, #Inspiration4!” NASA tweeted on Saturday. “The first all-private orbital spaceflight mission has splashed down, representing yet another commercial success story in our longstanding vision to make @NASAKennedy a multi-user spaceport.”
Welcome back, #Inspiration4! The first all-private orbital spaceflight mission has splashed down, representing yet another commercial success story in our longstanding vision to make @NASAKennedy a multi-user spaceport. https://t.co/BafSPVi9dV— NASA (@NASA) September 19, 2021
Even Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosShatner says he was struck by 'fragility of this planet' on trip to space Prince William urges focus on saving planet instead of space travel Warren calls for Amazon breakup MORE, the former Amazon CEO and founder of the competing space company Blue Origin, publicly celebrated the launch.
This article was updated at 3:54 with comments from the White House.