Statement on Signing a Bill Concerning the Space Shuttle Program

August 20, 1982

It is with great personal pleasure and pride that I sign into law House Joint Resolution 541 ``Concerning the successful completion of the test flight phase of the Space Shuttle program.''

I have witnessed many stirring events, but none more inspiring than the successful completion of the fourth and final test flight of the space shuttle in the California desert on July 4, 1982, as we celebrated the 206th anniversary of our nation's independence.

The space shuttle is an engineering and technological triumph. As the world's first reusable spaceship it represents the culmination of a decade-long effort, not only of thousands in government but tens of thousands in industry and the university community who worked so hard to make it a reality.

The shuttle program has given a lift to our national spirit. It has sparked a resurgence of pride among all Americans -- pride in our ability to do great things when we set out to do them. But it has also been a productive and useful program that has built new technology, created new industries and new jobs, thus helping to strengthen our national economy.

This legislation refers to the future uses of the space shuttle orbiters in space exploration, Earth observations, scientific experimentation, and support of the Nation's security.

The resolution is a fitting tribute not only to the space shuttle and to the people who helped make it possible but to the pioneering spirit of progress that has always characterized our nation.

It is indeed a privilege for me to join in recognizing this new national resource which we expect to use not only for the benefit of all Americans but for the benefit of all mankind.

Note: As enacted, H.J. Res. 541 is Public Law 97 - 237, approved August 20.