Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Administrator Goldin's Statement on NASA's Fortieth Anniversary - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Please help support Windows to the Universe, and our activities to help Earth and space science teachers, with a tax-exempt donation today!
This image shows a NASA Langley technician checking the Mercury full-scale model prior to its testing in the 30- by 60-Foot Wind Tunnel in 1959. Much of the research and development of the Mercury program was conducted at Langley.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Administrator Goldin's Statement on NASA's Fortieth Anniversary
News story originally written on October 2, 1998

This is Administrator Goldin's speech about NASA's 40th anniversary:

"Forty years ago, in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created with the boldest and most noble of missions: to pioneer the future. We were told to explore new frontiers and enhance life here on Earth. We were asked to instruct; we were expected to inspire. Forty years later, thanks to an American public with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a relentless sense of adventure, NASA has delivered.

Think about this: Forty years ago, jet passenger service was a novelty. Global communications meant a telephone line laid across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. When NASA was first getting started, the only way to track hurricanes was to fly planes directly over and into the storms. Our universe -- even the cosmic neighborhood just above our atmosphere -- was a mystery. In 1958, sending humans to the moon was pure science fiction.

But we dared to dream. We imagined what could be possible. And then along with our partners in industry and academia, we went to work.

In 1998, hundreds of millions of people ride American jets each year and new designs for flight go higher, faster and farther than ever before. Global space communications have helped create a global community. Weather satellites can detect the early evolution of an El Nino condition months in advance. There are still many mysteries to be solved, but Voyager, Galileo, the Hubble Space Telescope and other planetary and astronomy missions have circled neighboring planets, given us our first direct evidence that black holes exist, and begun to peer back at the very beginning of our universe. A space program that is forty years old has sent astronauts to the moon, robots to Mars, spacecraft to the furthest reaches of our solar system, and soon will help build the International Space Station. And for every step we take out there, we have contributed to a better quality of life right here. That is true whether it be the "spin-off" technology that helps us detect breast cancer earlier, or the child who looks up and knows that no longer is the sky the limit; it is the stars and beyond.

NASA has had a great forty years, but what the American people can be most proud of is this: when it comes to pioneering the future, we are just getting started. What will always define this aeronautics and space program -- and this country -- is our firm belief that there will forever be something to invent, somewhere to discover, someplace to visit.

Rest assured, NASA will do its best in the next forty years to find out just what and where that will be."


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Hurricanes (also known as Tropical Cyclones)

As a strong hurricane heads towards the coast, people prepare - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone areas, so they are taken...more

Voyager

The rare arrangement of planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the 1980's made it possible for the Voyager spacecrafts to visit them over a 12 year span instead of the normal 30. They used gravity...more

Galileo

The Galileo spacecraft was launched on October 19, 1989. Galileo had two parts: an orbiter and a descent probe that parachuted into Jupiter's atmosphere. Galileo's main mission was to explore Jupiter and...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF