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Station Sends Greetings to Race Fans at Daytona
Astronaut Peggy Whitson
Image above: Astronaut Peggy Whitson addresses race fans at the 2008 Daytona 500. Photo credit: NASA.
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Greetings from space! I'm Peggy Whitson, commander of the International Space Station. If you’re impressed by speed, check this out: I'm cruising along at 17,500 miles per hour.

This year, NASA and NASCAR are marking major milestones -- 50 years since the very first running of The Great American Race, the Daytona 500, and 50 years since the establishment of America's space agency, NASA.

Over the years, technology developed for the space program has helped NASCAR drivers increase their performance and stay safe.

They wear cooling suits similar to what we astronauts wear during a spacewalk, for example. And foam NASA developed for aircraft seats protects racecar drivers’ necks in a crash.

At NASA, we’re looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring -- a return to the moon, and perhaps journeys to places like Mars. We know Daytona is equally excited about its future.

So, congratulations to Daytona on the 50th running of the Daytona 500. Be safe and we hope all the drivers have a great race!