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OLSON STATEMENT ON FINAL SHUTTLE LANDING

Washington, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today issued the following statement in response to Shuttle ATLANTIS final landing, closing a storied chapter in America's human space exploration program:

"Congratulations to ATLANTIS, Commander Chris Ferguson and the STS-135 crew for a successful final mission.  This historic moment signals a sobering end to an era in American history that helped to define the exceptionalism of this great nation.  Just 50 short years ago, President Kennedy had the vision and courage to challenge our nation to aspire to a great adventure, knowing that the real benefit was not the goal of landing men on the moon, but what it would take to get there: the technology, the funding and the will to do it. 

"As we say goodbye to the shuttle program, we must recognize the men and women who dedicated their lives to ensuring that America remains a global leader in technology and space exploration. To the astronaut corps, Mission Control and everyone who contributed to this program - America thanks you. We will need your expertise and skills to take us to the next level of human space exploration. This chapter is by no means the end of human space flight; it is the beginning of the next generation of scientists, engineers and unforeseen discoveries. I am dedicated to ensuring that Congress gives NASA the goal and resources to usher in the next generation of human space flight."

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
202-225-5951