Two things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime: an African American president and a landing on Mars. And never did I think the twain would meet. Just goes to show how limited my thinking can be. Here’s President Obama congratulating NASA, which many thought had been put in mothballs after the space shuttle missions shut down. Obama echoes John F. Kennedy’s “moon” speech. Now the question – is there life on Mars – isn’t just science fiction. (See the PBS program after frozen water was found on the Red Planet.) KTLA was in mission control and captured the sheer joy of the success, followed by NBC’s report on the Today Show.
Statement by the President on Curiosity Landing on Mars
Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.
The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.
Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.
I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.