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Message from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe
Celebrating a Century of Achievement in Aviation and Space Flight
12.17.03
 
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe One hundred years ago on a windswept North Carolina beach, the daring achievement of two bicycle makers from Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright, opened a new era in human history. As a result of the Wright Brothers' accomplishment and the pioneering breakthroughs that followed, the sky and the heavens beyond are no longer a limit, but rather a venue for many fantastic voyages of exploration and discovery.

In January, as we begin the second century of flight, NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, will hopefully land safely on the surface of our neighboring planet, and begin their search for evidence of free flowing water in Mars' ancient history.

Ambitious missions like this remind us that the age of flight has barely begun. While NASA will always aim toward the stars, we also hold dear our Agency's aviation roots, and our continuing involvement in efforts to make aviation safer and more efficient. Our aviation roots stem back to 1915 and the establishment of NASA's predecessor organization, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Today, NASA scientists and engineers are working hard to develop technologies that will transform our aviation system to meet the needs of the future. In the years ahead, we expect to achieve tangible progress in such areas as lightweight flexible wing designs and intelligent flight control systems.

Building on our 45-year history of helping to pioneer the air and space frontier, NASA will continue in the years and decades ahead to advance human progress on a number of exciting fronts as we pursue our ambitious mission goals.

In the pursuit of our mission goals we will continue to expand the International Space Station's remarkable capabilities, send robotic spacecraft--including pilotless aircraft--to explore fascinating places throughout the solar system, use telescopes to find Earthlike planets orbiting nearby stars, and satellites to help us better understand Earth's dynamic climate.

The dedicated men and women of NASA are proud to join in today's celebration of the centennial of powered flight. We look forward to the second century of flight and the opportunity to help carry the torch of exploration to heights unimagined and into frontiers unknown.

Sean O'Keefe
Administrator