Thank you, Mr. President. Humanity’s journey beyond Earth famously began as the Space Race: a high-stakes struggle for security and prestige between two competitors -- the United States and the Soviet Union. Today the Space Race is over, and thanks to the remarkably improved atmosphere of cooperation, we have all won.
Space exploration is no longer a competition. It is a vital aspect of modern science and an endeavor requiring close cooperation between international partners in pursuit of our scientific and technological goals. The United States and Russia’s work together on space science and exploration has long been, and continues to be, a model of productive partnership between nations. Earlier this week, Russia’s latest Soyuz mission was the latest to carry both Russian and American nationals to the International Space Station. Next week, the chiefs of our space agencies, NASA and Roscosmos, will meet in Moscow to discuss future projects and missions that will push the frontiers of human knowledge of space farther than ever before.
The accomplishments of space exploration stretch beyond learning about our planet and universe, and have provided the technological basis for innovations in computer technology, medicine, renewable energy, and countless other fields. What is more, human spaceflight has turned into one of the world’s truly international undertakings, with citizens from over thirty different countries—from Afghanistan to Vietnam—traveling beyond Earth’s atmosphere. In the coming years, these intrepid explorers will be joined by citizens from other nations.
The 50th anniversary of human spaceflight is a proper occasion to reflect upon humanity’s achievements in space and to renew our commitment to realizing our common aspirations. Through cooperative space exploration all nations that operate in space find their horizons broadened, their knowledge enhanced, and the lives of their citizens improved. As President Kennedy said in 1962, “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people.” Those words ring just as true today. For all these reasons, the United States is honored to have co-sponsored the resolution we have just adopted and join in the commemoration of this historic milestone.
This site is managed by U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City and the Bureau of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.