Remarks Congratulating the Crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery
The President. Three weeks ago in
Vice President was right last night: You are
also want to salute the engineering and technical crew responsible for the
redesign of the space shuttle. It was a job well-done. More than 400 design
changes were made involving the orbiter, booster rockets, external tank, and
engines. With the success of the new shuttle,
In the meantime, we're looking forward to deploying the planetary probes Magellan, Galileo, and Ulysses, that will visit Venus, Jupiter, and the Sun. The launch of the Humble space telescope -- the Hubble, I should say; I put an ``m'' in there -- the launch of the Hubble space telescope will extend our gaze to the far reaches of space. Important national security projects will also be launched, improving our ability to monitor arms control agreements. Our progress on developing the Mach 25 national aerospace plane continues.
NASA's office of exploration has some very exciting ideas for the future:
building a space observatory on the far side of the Moon, or establishing a
permanent lunar colony, or sending a manned mission to the planet Mars or to
one of its moons. There's so much that lies ahead. You know, I have to wonder
how far off is the day when the children of
our young people, in particular, I think Mike Lounge said it best: ``Space is a
fun place.'' That's a message that deserves to be posted in every science
I'll predict that the crew of the Discovery has launched a whole new generation of young space pioneers. Mission Commander Rick Hauck has said that this will be his last space flight. Well, we'll miss his leadership, but he says ``there are a lot of people waiting in the wings.'' In fact, four of them are right here. As Pinky Nelson, speaking for his colleagues, put it: ``We're back at the end of the line, waiting for our next mission.'' Well, we too are looking forward to seeing you return to space, but for now we just want to say thanks again for this mission and for all that it has meant for our country.
Along with the Discovery's dramatic liftoff, there have been few sights more inspiring than watching the graceful shuttle gliding down to Earth. Because in that moment, as five Americans returned from the heavens to the Earth, we could see our own future -- or at least glimpse the shape of its opening moments -- because there's so much more to come. What history is recording today is simply the greatest of beginnings, the opening overture of a symphony in space.
there have been setbacks and tragedy and heroism along the way. And the journey
ahead is not for the faint-hearted; it's for the brave. But there are wonders
that lie before us, wonders that the human heart has yearned to know since the
dawn of time. Ours is the first generation in human history that has had the
tools to bring mankind into the heavens, into space; and
The poet William Butler Yeats described an Irish airman in World War I, who became a pilot not because of the call of ``public men nor cheering crowds'' but ``a lonely impulse of delight drove him to this tumult in the clouds.'' I think that's the way it'll always be. The men and women who blaze the trail lead us forward through sense of joy, through ``a lonely impulse of delight.'' They are the pioneers who seek knowledge and adventure, who lead us beyond the frontier, across great oceans, and who lift us to the clouds, to the heavens, and, someday, out beyond the stars.
vistas beyond imagination are being opened for humanity in space. A new future
of freedom, both peaceful and bountiful, is being created. And
So, to the crew of the Discovery and to all of you who help carry us toward our destiny on the wings of a dream, thank you, and God bless you.
Hauck. Mr. President, we would like to thank you very much for the privilege of
coming to meet with you and for your coming down to
The President. They promised they'd bring 'em back to me. [Laughter]
Captain Hauck. Our pleasure, sir.
The President. Thank you all very much. And to some ladies who are just as brave as these gentlemen.
Note: The President spoke at in the Rose Garden at the White House. The President's closing remarks referred to the wives of the crew.