Statement by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on NASA Shuttle Discovery
Early this morning, we all looked to the skies as NASA and the seven astronauts aboard the Shuttle Discovery coordinated a flawless finale to their Return to Flight mission. Our special congratulations on a successful mission go out to two of Discovery's crew members who are native New Yorkers - Commander Eileen Collins of Elmira and Mission Specialist Charles Camarda of Queens. While Commander Collins grew up dreaming of flying in Elmira, a town nick-named the "soaring Capitol of America," Mission Specialist Camarda envisioned a career as an astronaut amidst the bright city lights of Queens. Both are role models for youngsters in New York and across the world, who watched the launch, the orbit, and the landing with awe, and who dream of a chance to one day explore space themselves.
And as we celebrate this mission, the bravery of this seven-member crew, and the dedication of everyone at NASA, we also remember and pay tribute to all of those who have gone before them, especially those who have given their lives in pursuit of their dream.
For over forty years, the American space program has exemplified our spirit of adventure, and our belief in the promise of discovery. Each mission is a journey on behalf of science, health, and exploration, and we all watch in wonder as these courageous astronauts venture into the heavens to make this a better world. And we all rejoice upon their safe return."