Chairman Gordon and Subcommittee Chairwoman Giffords Congratulate NASA on Receiving TIME Magazine's Best Invention of the Year Award for Its Ares Rock

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009

image (Washington, DC) - House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) congratulated National Administration of Space and Aeronautics (NASA) on making TIME's List of 50 Best Inventions of 2009. NASA's Ares rockets placed number one among the best inventions of the year. The Ares rockets placed before several remarkable inventions - the Smart Thermostat (#4), the AIDS vaccine (#8), and Tweeting by Thinking (#9), among others.

"NASA deserves a round of applause for developing what TIME called the 'best, smartest, and coolest' invention of the year. I am pleased that TIME has acknowledged NASA's achievement. Over the past fifty one years, NASA has made numerous contributions that have advanced the exploration of space and have also had a significant impact on our daily lives. Improved bullet proof vests for law enforcement personnel, cordless power tools, and fire-resistant clothing are just a few of the down-to-Earth technological advancements that have their roots in NASA's mission-directed R&D," stated Gordon. "This recognition by TIME is further proof that in spite of a challenging budgetary environment, NASA continues to demonstrate technological leadership. Once again, I'd like to congratulate NASA and all of the people who have worked on the development of the Ares rockets."

"It's great to see the dedicated NASA team that is developing the Ares rockets get the recognition that they deserve," added Giffords. "They have kept their focus in spite of many distractions and challenges, and are developing the rockets that will lead America into an exciting new age of space exploration. I congratulate them on this award, and I look forward to continued progress on the Constellation program in the months and years ahead."

The Ares rockets are a key part of NASA's Constellation program, which is an initiative dedicated to carrying out human and robotic exploration of the solar system, including returning humans back to the Moon and eventually to Mars and other destinations. As the House Committee with jurisdiction over NASA, the Committee has carried out extensive oversight of NASA's exploration initiatives as well as of NASA's exploration initiatives as well as of NASA's other important space and aeronautics activities.

On October 28, NASA successfully launched the Ares I-X test rocket, an aerodynamic model of Ares I, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ares I-X is 327 feet tall and used hundreds of sensors to collect massive amounts of data that will be used to improve the development of the operational Ares flight vehicles.

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