On October 10th, 2009, I was fortunate to participate in one of the most exciting ceremonies of my life. On that day, my alma mater, Rice University played football against Navy, the branch in which I served, and I was able to participate in a halftime ceremony where the John F. Kennedy museum loaned a moon rock to the university.
My love for space exploration began as a young boy growing up in Clear Lake, as I followed those Apollo missions, the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s charge, with great enthusiasm. The JFK museum generously loaned a moon rock that was given to President John F. Kennedy when he was honored posthumously with NASA’s Ambassador of Exploration Award. Rice university is a fitting home for this rock, because it was in 1962, at Rice’s very stadium where the game that day was held, that President Kennedy gave one of the most famous speeches, not in the history of the university or the space program, but of the American presidency.
Prior to the event, I went back and reread President Kennedy’s speech. The speech is incorrectly considered dated, because it is so tied to the moon missions. People think of it as a historical speech commemorating something we have already done. But I ask you to please read it again, and to realize that what he talked about is as relevant today as it was then.
A link to the speech is here and I hope you too will see what I do, in these words about boldness and America’s commitment to being first in space. You can read and watch the speech here.
Olson NASA Op/Eds:
Congress, White House must work towards a strong space policy - The Hill 08/29/12
US falling behind in battle for ultimate high ground - space - The Hill 03/28/12
China's Space Program Threatens US National Security - Heritage Foundation 11/14/11
NASA at a Turning Point - Politico 07/22/11
Rep. Pete Olson & Former Astronaut Col. Walter Cunnuingham
NASA, Houston has a Shuttle Problem - CNN - 04/20/11
Rep. Pete Olson & Rep. Ted Poe
Shuttle oversight smacks of politics - South-Belt Ellington Leader 047/16/11
Transparency and fiscal discipline must be part of final Shuttle decision - Daily Caller - 03/18/11
NASA Issue Bills Supported by Rep. Olson:
1. H.R.823: Space Leadership Preservation Act of 2013