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House Passes S&T Bills Commemorating NASA's 50th Anniversary and the First American Woman In Space

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2008

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Washington D.C. - The House of Representatives today passed bills commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and honoring the first American woman to go into space.

Committee Member, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), offered H.Res. 1315, commemorating the 50th anniversary of NASA, which was established on July 29, 1958. Specifically, the resolution honors the dedicated workforce at NASA, acknowledges the value of NASA's many discoveries and accomplishments, and pledges to maintain America's position as the world leader in aeronautics and space exploration and technology.

"When Galileo first peered through a telescope in the early 1600's he put the farthest reaches of the universe in our thoughts and fantasies. In 1958 NASA embarked on a mission to put the stars within our reach," McCaul said. "I am proud to have introduced this resolution that commemorates the historic achievements of NASA over the past fifty years. The work of these men and women is a testament to ingenuity of the United States in the scientific fields and has impacted all areas of modern life. It is fitting that Congress recognize this milestone and reaffirms its support for NASA as we work to maintain our leadership role in space exploration."

The House today also passed H.Res. 1313, a resolution honoring Dr. Sally K. Ride on the 25th anniversary of her becoming the first American woman in space. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX) and cosponsored by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Feeney (R-FL), honors Dr. Ride's contributions to the space program and to science education.

Dr. Ride was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 1978 as part of the eighth class of NASA astronauts and one of only six women in the class. On June 18, 1983, she was lofted into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger as part of the STS-7 crew, making her the first American woman in space.

Dr. Ride has continued to serve the Nation's space program with distinction, authoring the 1987 report, Leadership and America's Future in Space, and serving on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She has also worked passionately to encourage young women to go into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, by promoting science festivals, camps, and other opportunities through which young women can acquire hands-on learning about science.

The following S&T bills also passed the House today:

  • H.Con.Res. 375 - To honor the goal of the International Year of Astronomy, and for other purposes (Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ));
  • H.Res. 1312 - Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Space Foundation (Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)); and
  • H.R. 4174 - The Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2007 (Rep. Thomas Allen (D-ME)).

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