In this Centennial of Flight year,
it is worth noting for all the amazing progress the age of aviation
and space flight has made possible, our gains have not come easily.
Every step of the way, the technological breakthroughs that have enabled
people to fly around the world and brave explorers to extend our horizons
heavenward, were the result of hard work, perseverance, and a willingness
to overcome major setbacks.
On February 1, 2003, a terrible tragedy occurred when the NASA family, our Nation, and the world lost seven remarkable individuals, the heroic crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
NASA is now working hard to return to space flight operations that are as safe as humanly possible. We are also continuing to pursue our mission goals of understanding and protecting the home planet, exploring the universe and searching for life, and inspiring the next generation of explorers. We hope our unceasing efforts to pioneer the future will provide a fitting tribute to the Columbia seven.
This year, which marks NASAs 45th year of conducting aeronautics and space research and exploration missions on behalf of the American public, is also noteworthy for some important advances:
Fittingly for an Agency that holds dear its aviation roots, we also continued to make significant investments to improve the efficiency, safety, and security of our Nations air transportation system. Spinoff 2003 recognizes a number of exciting NASA aeronautics research efforts that may well help revolutionize the way we travel in the future.
As always, this publication highlights NASAs extensive efforts to promote the transfer of aerospace technology to the private sector. Every day, in an astounding variety of ways, American lives are affected positively by our Nations investment in NASA. Such fields as agriculture, communications, computer technology, environment and resources management, health and medicine, manufacturing, transportation, and climate modeling have benefited greatly from NASA-derived technologies.
As the second century of flight gets underway, we will strive mightily to continue providing tangible and significant benefits to the American public. For at NASA, we believe the sky and the heavens beyond are not limits, but rather vital venues for exploration and technological progress.
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