"Good afternoon. More than 40 years ago, in a time of Cold War challenges -- but also a time of hope, possibility and new frontiers -- America sent me on a journey into space that not only changed my life, but changed our nation's view of earth itself.
A few years ago, I was privileged to make another journey into space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery, this time with 83 scientific research projects on board -- projects to benefit you and your children right here on earth. The world I saw from the heavens was no less spectacular the second time around. And while I am exceptionally proud to have represented America on these journeys of discovery, I am concerned.
It was education and research that fueled our post-war economic boom; with so many veterans studying under the G.I. Bill, it generated a whole new base for new technology, new types of business and good, middle-class jobs. It was education and research that gave us new opportunities to study in this new and unique laboratory of space, and that helped America put my friend Neil Armstrong on the moon, and win the Cold War.
In short, a commitment to leadership in education and research underpinned America's rise to greatness over the past 100 years. Our strength was built on sound public schools in every community, strong universities with the best labs, and a commitment to the ever-curious, questing spirit of America that is still unlocking the secrets of the universe through top-flight science. And it will be future education and research -- from earth and from space that will create the new industries and new jobs that increase our standard of living and will determine our leadership position in the world."