Trump Praises SpaceX CEO Elon Musk For Falcon Heavy's Simultaneous Booster Landing

China's Tiangong-1 space station to crash land into Earth
In a cabinet meeting on March 8, President Donald Trump mentions Elon Musk and the recent simultaneous landing of the Falcon Heavy's boosters. He also explains the beneficial role of the private space companies in the aerospace industry.  ( Nicholas Kamm | AFP/Getty Images )

Even when the rocket's core booster crashed and burned, President Donald Trump still commended SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk for the simultaneous landing of Falcon Heavy's rocket boosters.

The world's most powerful rocket was launched on Feb. 6, with three of its boosters expected to return to Earth.

However, only two made it back safely and they landed alongside each other, just several miles away from the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

As for the core booster, it plunged into the ocean at an exhilarating speed of around 300 miles per hour, damaging a couple of engines on the drone ship that was supposed to "catch" it.

Of course, the disaster generated quite a buzz that Musk had to explain its cause over social media. Nonetheless, the president focused only on SpaceX's accomplishment.

"With the rocket boosters where they're coming back down, to me, that was more amazing than watching the rocket go up because I've never seen that before," Trump says during the March 8 cabinet meeting.

He particularly marveled at how the Falcon Heavy's two boosters "beautifully" returned to the planet's surface without using wings or any other mechanism.

Private Space Companies Are Saving The Government Money: Trump

At the meeting, Trump also mentions how owners of private space companies, whom he referred to as "rich guys," have a penchant for rockets. He then went on to explain why this is beneficial to the federal government.

To illustrate his point, the president cites the cost of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch, which amounted to $80 million.

If the government were to do it, he claims, the figures would have increased by up to 40 or 50 times more.

Despite praising the achievements of Musk's company, he reiterates that America's National Aerospace and Space Administration remains as the industry's forerunner, revealing that it's working on something novel.

Obama Advisor Agrees With Trump's Opinion On Private Investors

Kumar Garg, an advisor to former President Barack Obama, shares the same perspective as Trump regarding the collaboration of private space companies and the federal space agency.

"Amazingly, I don't disagree. Commercial space sector is pushing capability at a totally different cost factor. If NASA is listening, they should substantially expand space tech budget, rather than cutting it," he suggests in a Twitter post, March 8.

In his statement, Garg is referring to the reduced budget that was recently proposed for NASA. According to Trump's administration, cuts were made in anticipation of an increased investment from the commercial sector.

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