Space Day 2005 Opening Ceremony

Remarks By Robert J. Stevens
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Lockheed Martin Corporation
National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
Leesburg, Virginia - 05/05/2005

Thank you, Gen. Dailey, for those generous remarks and for hosting Space Day in this magnificent Center.  As Co-Chair, I’d like to welcome ALL of you to Space Day 2005! 

Today, you’re about to meet some real heroes – current and former NASA Astronauts!  They are going to talk to you about what’s it like to be in space -- and give you some great advice about what it takes to become an Astronaut or one of the many talented professionals who help launch humans into space.

They’re going to tell you that you need to do well in school – and study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.   

Because that’s how you learn why jet airliners are the safest way to travel long distances – and why the Earth has an atmosphere and the Moon doesn’t – and how Astronauts manage to eat in a weightless environment – and lots of other neat things. 

And that’s why Lockheed Martin launched Space Day nine years ago – to inspire students just like you to pursue careers in science, math, engineering and technology.  And here is the best part for me – I’ll let you in on a little secret – at Lockheed Martin, EVERYDAY is Space Day!  Everyday, our employees work on rockets and satellites and spacecraft that help explore our universe.  We’d love one day to have all of you become part of our exciting company -- and you can if you begin now by focusing on your math and science studies.      

So, enjoy today’s activities – and know that this ceremony is just one part of an INTERNATIONAL Space Day celebration taking place all across America and Canada.
Space Day celebrates the extraordinary achievements of all the men and women who have worked to make space exploration possible.

Several of those outstanding people are here with us today.  Each of them is a former astronaut, and each now works for Lockheed Martin.  Will Ken Reightler, Dan Brandenstein, and Brian Duffy please stand?  You will have a chance to meet with them later today.

But first, it is my great honor to introduce the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Glenn.

Senator Glenn was one of the original seven Mercury Astronauts, and in 1962 he made his famous orbital flight in Friendship 7.  Thirty-six years later, he returned to space, spending two weeks in orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.  He served four terms as Senator from Ohio, and for the last several years he has been the Co-Chair of Space Day. 

He is a personal friend and a great American hero … may I present Senator John Glenn!