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President Obama Visits California’s Silicon Valley
Air Force One arrives at Moffett Field Click image for full resolution.
Air Force One arrives at Moffett Field.
Image credit: NASA Ames Research Center / Eric James

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza Click image for full resolution.
NASA's Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden meets President Barack Obama.
Image credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama waves before departing Moffett Field. Click image for full resolution.
President Barack Obama waves as he departs Moffett Field.
Image credit: NASA Ames Research Center / Dominic Hart

President Barack Obama’s arrival onboard Air Force One on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 at Moffett Federal Airfield marked his first landing at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

"I had the honor to meet President Obama when he arrived at Moffett Federal Airfield last Sunday," said Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames, who along with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Mountain View Mayor Jac Siegel, greeted the president.

"It was fitting that the president came to Silicon Valley to talk about his job creation plan, given how critical Silicon Valley is to the future of the U.S. economy," said Worden.

NASA Ames is an integral component of the world-renowned innovation economy and actively participates in the valley’s technological and scientific evolution. The center plays a key role in the success of the local economy, specifically by investing in research and development, promoting innovation, and advancing research in green and clean technologies.

NASA Ames also supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and workforce development. In addition, NASA Ames’ efforts include developing partnerships with the private sector and facilitating commercialization of space.

On the second day of his overnight visit, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, President Obama visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to participate in a discussion about putting America back to work. LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with more than 120 million users worldwide, hosted the town hall meeting.

"As Ames explores space and our planet, it stimulates economic growth by employing scientists and engineering professionals, promoting technology innovation, and preparing the workforce in the future – all to enhance the health, growth, and long-term competitiveness of the Bay Area and the nation," said Worden.

According to an economic benefits study prepared for Ames in March 2010, Ames generated $1.3 billion in annual economic output and supported more than 8,400 jobs nationally, with 70% of these jobs located in California. Regionally, more than 5,300 jobs and $877 million in annual economic output were reported in the San Francisco Bay Area. NASA Research Park (NRP), a collaborative community sponsored by NASA Ames, now has 80 on-site partners, including Bloom Energy, Apprion, Tibion, Nanostellar and Benetech.

After 70 years of innovation, Ames continues to pursue new breakthrough technologies and strengthen partnerships with local Silicon Valley organizations, companies, and academic institutions through the NRP.

Ames supports the local and regional economy, not only through its direct jobs and purchases, also by maintaining its specialized research facilities for use by external organizations actively-seeking commercial partnerships. Ames also continues to operate Moffett Federal Airfield and sponsor forums, public events and seminars.

The core topics of the President’s trip to Silicon Valley focused on job creation and the economy. In remarks at the town hall meeting, President Obama referred to Silicon Valley as the part of the country that represents the essence of America, "because what you see here is entrepreneurship and dynamism, a forward-orientation and optimism."

Though President Obama’s schedule did not permit a longer visit, Worden invited the president to return to NASA Ames for an extended visit.

"We look forward to the possibility of a future visit, so that we can show him first-hand some of the technologies that we are developing that both serve NASA missions and benefit the quality of life on Earth for all Americans," said Worden.

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Huong Nguyen / Jessica Culler
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.