Aug 6, 2012
President Barack Obama congratulated NASA on its successful mission to send a robotic rover to Mars tonight, calling the landing of the Curiosity an “unprecedented feat of technology.”
Here’s what he tweeted right after the landing:
Twitter / @BarackObama
In a statement Monday, the President also used the opportunity to make another push for government spending on “innovation, technology, and basic research,” saying that the mission “reminds us that our pre-eminence” depends on this type of government investment.
Here’s the full statement, courtesy of the White House:
Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.
The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination.
Tonight’s success, delivered by NASA, parallels our major steps forward towards a vision for a new partnership with American companies to send American astronauts into space on American spacecraft. That partnership will save taxpayer dollars while allowing NASA to do what it has always done best – push the very boundaries of human knowledge. And tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world.
I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.
Politically speaking, the success of the $ 2.5 billion Curiosity mission gives NASA a boost at a critical time for the agency. Deficit hawks have been eyeing the agency as a target for budget cuts, and the Obama administration has already proposed cutting funding for Mars exploration by more than $200 million, which would effectively table the program after 2012.
This article was posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 at 3:51 am