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Public Papers - 1992

Letter Accepting the Resignation of Richard H. Truly as Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

1992-02-12

Dear Dick:

It is with deep regret that I accept your resignation from the position of Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Almost three years ago, I nominated you to become Administrator of NASA. As a result of your leadership, NASA is better prepared for the 1990s and beyond. You have established a balanced NASA program including aeronautics, space science, manned Space Shuttle operations -- including the upcoming addition of the Endeavour -- and robotic space exploration. Working with the Vice President, you developed our Space Exploration Initiative that begins with Space Station Freedom.

Some of the significant and historic milestones in your career include piloting the second flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981 and commanding the first night launch and landing of the Shuttle in 1983. But one of the most notable was the way you took over NASA's Office of Space Flight soon after the Challenger tragedy. Under your leadership, NASA was able to rebuild the Space Shuttle program and return it to safe operation in 1988.

You have served in many important positions throughout your career and have received numerous awards. The Nation owes you a great debt of gratitude for your 37 years of dedicated public service and the significant contributions you have made to America's flight and aerospace achievements.

Barbara joins me in extending to you and your family our heartfelt thanks and the admiration and appreciation of our Nation.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,

George Bush

Dear Mr. President:

It is with the deepest regret that I submit this letter of resignation as the Administrator of NASA. As we discussed when we met today, and because NASA is without a Deputy, I will remain until April 1.

This action will conclude almost 37 years of continuous military and government service for me. I have been unbelievably privileged to have had so many challenging assignments in aviation, space flight, military command and public administration over these years. In our nation's space business, I have enjoyed jobs in every corner of it; civilian and military, highly classified and open, flight and management.

In the last six years since I arrived to join the NASA leadership just after the Challenger tragedy, I have watched the talented men and women of this elite agency turn heartbreak and disarray into the impressive achievements and superb organization of today. With 20 safe and successful Shuttle flights in the last 40 months, scientific discoveries pouring in, Space Station Freedom on track, and our wind tunnels testing the airframes and spacecraft of tomorrow, they deserve to be very, very proud. With your support, their opportunities to inspire America's people and drive our country's competitiveness are boundless. Their achievements result from working daily in a fishbowl world of difficult and exacting tasks, tough judgments and carefully balanced risks; not an endeavor which some would have you think has quick, brilliant and easy solutions.

I think that the job of leading these people is the best one in Washington, and I am proud to have had that privilege. Cody and I particularly want to thank you and Barbara for the personal times you have shared with us over the years.

Sincerely,

Richard H. Truly

Note: These letters were made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 13 but were not issued as White House press releases.

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