Rohrabacher Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program

Recognizes Astronauts as Unofficial Ambassadors-at-Large for Space Exploration

Washington, DC- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) issued the following statement in recognition of the beginning of the Apollo program to the moon:

"I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish." -John F. Kennedy, Special Joint Session of Congress, May 25, 1961

“Fifty years ago today, the Apollo program to the Moon began,” said Rohrabacher.  “Thirty-two Americans risked their lives on Apollo missions, and brought our entire nation and way of life with them.  After Apollo, these astronauts began travelling the world and sharing the American vision for peaceful exploration and use of outer space.

“Each of these astronauts advanced the cause of human space exploration, interplanetary exploration, and international diplomacy for all mankind and for all Americans, and each has served as an unofficial Ambassador-at-Large for Space Exploration.  Their work marks the determination of all Americans to identify and pursue noble and often daunting goals of human space exploration.

“These brave Americans, living and dead, represent the undeterred and heroic spirit, the commitment of individual citizens to protecting and advancing the national security of our country, and the path-breaking international diplomacy by achieving and promoting the Moon landings ‘in peace for all Mankind.’

“These path-breaking astronauts constitute the first embodiment of America’s unprecedented leadership, and the first steps of Mankind both on the Moon and toward wider exploration.  The actions of each of these astronauts not only contributed to the historic Moon landings envisioned by President Kennedy fifty years ago today, but also represented the first steps toward wider international cooperation, activity and diplomacy in space.

“I applaud their efforts and accomplishments over the past fifty years.  And I encourage all Americans to join with me in thanking them for their accomplishments and for the international role they have played in serving as unofficial Ambassadors to the world on our behalf.”

Rep. Rohrabacher is a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.