THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S STATEMENT ON THE PATHFINDER'S SUCCESSFUL LANDING ON MARS
Tonight, in back yards and town squares across the nation, American families will be observing Independence Day by looking to the night sky. But this Fourth of July is particularly special. Above the fireworks and among the stars, NASA's Mars Pathfinder has successfully landed on the Red Planet.
The Mars Pathfinder has a unique and historic task. As the first of ten spacecraft that NASA plans to send to Mars to establish a sustained robotic presence over the next decade, the Pathfinder will blaze a new trail in scientific understanding. It will provide exciting information on Mars. It will shed light on the origins of our solar system. And it will help us foster a better understanding of the complexities and mysteries of our own planet.
This mission is a tribute to Administrator Goldin, the women and men of NASA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory whose creativity and dedication not only allowed us to undertake this vital mission, but to do it in one-third of the time and one-tenth the cost of the first Viking mission to Mars some two decades ago. I congratulate them. And this evening as we celebrate our great American spirit, let us also celebrate American know-how and ingenuity as we continue to press forward to new heights and new frontiers -- both here on Earth and in the heavens above.