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Public Papers - 1991 - January

Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report on Aeronautics and Space Activities During 1988


To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to transmit this report on the Nation's progress in aeronautics and space during calendar year 1988, as required under section 206 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2476). Not only do aeronautics and space activities cut across many sectors of our Federal Government as represented in this report, but the results of this ongoing research and development affect the Nation as a whole. This report details the accomplishments of the 14 contributing departments and agencies, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense the major contributors.

In 1988 we were proud to return to successful spaceflight with the launch of two space shuttle flights and the additional successful launch of six unpiloted expendable launch vehicles, putting in orbit a wide variety of space tracking, science, navigational, weather, and defense satellites. In addition, many other kinds of achievements highlighted the year. Global climate change and ozone depletion were intensely studied. The world's fastest supercomputer was installed, permitting solutions to aerodynamic problems far too complex to be handled by previous computers. The Department of Defense completed delivery of all 100 B - 1B bombers and saw the rollout of the first B - 2 Stealth bomber. Progress was made at the Federal Aviation Administration in the modernization of air navigation and air traffic control and many safety research projects, including new ways of reducing aviation problems caused by adverse weather. Spin-offs, or benefits to the Nation resulting from practical applications of space technology, have resulted in an estimated billion from contributions to sales or savings since 1978. It should not be overlooked that U.S. aeronautical products are one of the principal positive contributors to the U.S. balance of trade. Significant developments in technology applications included a cooperative effort to use space technology to improve the sight of persons with impaired vision and a joint project to improve laboratory identification and monitoring of cancer cells. These are just a few of the many accomplishments our fiscal year 1988 .6 billion space budget and billion aeronautics budget have produced.

In 1988 we reaffirmed our commitment to the exploration and use of space in support of our national well-being. Our mission to provide leadership in critical areas of space activities in an increasingly competitive international environment urges us to build on the great achievements of those who have gone before and continue with the extraordinary aeronautical and space achievements that this Nation has so capably demonstrated.

George Bush

The White House,

January 31, 1991.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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