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May 22nd, 2012
09:55 AM ET

SpaceX commercial shuttle makes historic launch

The International Space Station is once again getting supplies from an American shuttle, but this one doesn’t have a NASA logo.

Today at 3:44 a.m. ET, an unmanned dragon capsule, from the commercial space flight company SpaceX, made a historic launch into space.

The shuttle is carrying supplies like clothing and student experiments that will be handed off to astronauts when it reaches the space station in a couple of days.

On Early Start this morning, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says that today is a huge step toward the United States providing its own vehicles to take supplies to the ISS without the help of other countries like Russia.

“It’s fine to rely on partners, but that’s not where the greatest nation in the world wants to be,” says Bolden.

Boulden explains that the launch of the rocket is a joint effort between the SpaceX team and NASA. The idea is that eventually, shuttles similar to the one launched this morning will be able to bring regular people into space.

As for the rumors that the remains of about 300 people, including a former Star Trek actor, are on board the shuttle, Bolden couldn’t comment because he doesn’t know the facts.

“I don’t want to guess and I don’t know very much about it, other than the fact that I think you’re right,” says Bolden.

May 22nd, 2012
09:34 AM ET

Joplin native makes documentary about the tornado that devastated her hometown

Following last year's devastating tornado, Joplin native and documentary filmmaker Erica Tremblay returned to the town to visit her family and friends and to see how she could help rebuild her hometown.

After witnessing the destruction caused by the natural disaster, Tremblay's producing partner suggested that they get together a crew and document the stories of the people she knew.

The documentary "Heartland" is the end result, and Tremblay appears on "Early Start" this morning to discuss her work and to explain the back story behind the film.

Tremblay says that while the film began as a disaster documentary, it quickly turned into a story about the human spirit, and how it heals after tragedy.

While she says that working on the project helped her heal, Tremblay explains that it also kept her in the thick of the disaster every day, reminding her about just how much her neighbors had lost in the tragedy.