Administrator O'Keefe's Corner
In 2004 NASA made remarkable strides in all of our mission areas, and the public is more enthusiastic about our work than ever. I want to thank every employee for the heart and soul you pour into NASA every day.
We began the year on a high note when President Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration
on January 14. We developed a strong and realistic stepping-stone Vision implementation plan and worked hard to transform our storied agency.
2004 will also be remembered as the year of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity
. Building on their remarkable scientific return, we look forward to next summer's launch of the Reconnaissance orbiter and to the next wave of Mars landers.
We were also treated to breathtaking images of Saturn and its moons taken by the Cassini
spacecraft. We eagerly anticipate the Huygens probe's descent into Titan's mysterious atmosphere next month. Our Genesis
mission experienced a less than graceful landing, but we did recover its valuable cargo of solar wind particles.
This year three Expedition crews worked onboard the International Space Station
, conducting research that will help enable future explorers to travel well beyond low Earth orbit. The year comes to an end with a huge amount of positive momentum and public interest surrounding Return to Flight
. We look forward to the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114) mission once we have achieved all of our milestone-driven safety objectives.
The spirit of exploration and discovery at NASA is alive and well. It is exemplified by the inspiring story of NASA staff members who climb the world’s highest mountains in order to grapple with challenges that push themselves to create a path to success. In our own way, each one of us shares this path. Our work to advance the Vision requires each one of us to reach new heights. As we look forward to an even brighter 2005, thank you again for your hard work and dedication.