On April 12, 2002, Administrator Sean O'Keefe outlined his vision for NASA. Speaking at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, the Administrator noted:
"In broad terms, our mandate is to pioneer the future . . . to push the envelope . . . to do what has never been done before. An amazing charter indeed . . . NASA is what Americans . . . and the people of the world . . . think of when the conversation turns to the future. "Pioneering the future is certainly something Abraham Lincoln would have understood, and given the reverence with which he is held here at Maxwell, I think it well that we follow his advice to 'distain the beaten path and
seek regions hitherto unexplored.' At NASA we indeed venture to regions unexplored and unknown.
"So in the end, NASA is about creating the future . . . and our greatest asset in fulfilling this demanding charter is the excellence of our people."