Congressman David Wu released the following statement today in response to the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis:
"Today the Space Shuttle Atlantis embarked on its final mission, ending a bold chapter of space exploration. This final shuttle launch and the proposed privatization of human space flight should not mean the end of our national commitment to exploration, innovation, research, and education. Our success depends on a new generation inspired to create broader vistas for themselves and for their nation. The dream of human space flight has launched millions of careers in science and engineering that drive our economic prosperity and global competitiveness.
"Despite design and technological compromises made necessary by budget shortfalls, the shuttle program established the United States as the world's leader in technological innovation. As we move to the next chapter, it is imperative that we maintain a national commitment to space exploration. Our children deserve to live in a nation with a vision of the future that matches the dreams of our pioneering forbearers."