WASHINGTON -- "Following are excerpts from remarks given by NASA
Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at the arrival of the space shuttle
Discovery at Dulles International Airport on Tuesday, April 17:
"Discovery was the longest-serving veteran of NASA's space shuttle
fleet. Her maiden voyage was in 1984. She flew 39 missions, spent 365
days in space, orbited Earth 5,830 times and traveled 148,221,675
"The space shuttles’ 30-year history literally changed the world.
Their greatest accomplishment and purpose, now complete, was the
launch and construction of the ISS -- our science laboratory in space
and our foothold to the rest of the solar system. Like all great
accomplishments, these achievements came at a cost. When we lost the
Challenger and Columbia flights and their brave crews, we
re-dedicated ourselves to an even more meaningful and exciting
"Today, NASA is following through on this commitment by building on
the successes of the past and learning from our failures. President
Obama has set us on a course that will tap into the innovative spirit
that has made this nation great. It will allow us to more fully
utilize the ISS and explore farther than ever before -- to an
asteroid and on to Mars. This shift will permit us to advance our
technology, open new markets and create more American jobs, making
our aerospace industry even more competitive and increasing our
economic and national security."
"To those who say our best exploration days are behind us, I must
disagree. While it is wonderful to reminisce about the past, NASA
continues to focus on the future. You need only admire the amazing
space shuttles and their accomplishments to realize the people,
organizations and nation that created them have only just begun.
Vehicles with names like Orion, Dragon and Dreamchaser are being
built all across the country today. They will continue and expand on
the space shuttle’s many accomplishments."
"It is an honor to deliver Discovery to the Smithsonian today to share
this national treasure with the nation -- telling not only the
stories of the past, but ushering in the promise of the future."