On Space Exploration Day, we marvel at our country's accomplishments in space, commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, and pledge to launch a new era of discovery and exploration of our universe.
For more than a half century, the United States has led humanity's quest into the great unknown. Few moments in our American story spark more pride than the Apollo 11 mission, when Neil Armstrong, alongside Buzz Aldrin, planted our beautiful flag into the Moon's surface on July 20, 1969. Those first steps upon that "magnificent desolation" represent a remarkable era in American innovation that has inspired future generations to become scientists and engineers and has served as a catalyst for the technological revolution of the 21st century. The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a spectacular demonstration of American technical prowess and space leadership, and it served as an enduring example of what can be accomplished, in the face of incredible odds, by American heart, courage, and grit.
To honor those who have come before us and for the future betterment of all humankind, we pledge to launch a new era of exploration, extending our pioneering spirit into the farthest reaches of the cosmos. My Administration is committed to reestablishing our Nation's dominance and leadership in space for centuries to come. I have instructed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to send the next man and first woman to the Moon and to take the next giant leap-sending Americans to Mars. Sustained exploration that extends from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a new era of American ingenuity, drawing untold individuals into the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and defense.
On this Space Exploration Day, we celebrate our tremendous technological advancements, honor those we have lost in the pursuit of discovery, and embrace the American Spirit that has inspired our Nation to lead the world in space.
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