The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine about the passing of former President George Herbert Walker Bush:
NASA and the nation mourn the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush, a leader who was a passionate advocate for space exploration.
President Bush is a personal hero of mine and a major inspiration in my life. I remember like yesterday watching the 1992 Republican National Convention, learning of his life of sacrifice, and hearing his whimsical memories of sitting on an aircraft carrier, looking at the stars, and dreaming about a girl named Barbara. From being the Navys youngest fighter pilot in World War II and being shot down, to his years of public service in Congress, the State Department, CIA, Vice President and President, there was nothing he wouldnt give for our country and her people.
President Bushs Space Exploration Initiative helped us to think big and long-term about space. His impassioned vision of a journey into tomorrow a journey to another planet a manned mission to Mars, helped sustain NASAs early work on the International Space Station, and it still can be felt in our ongoing efforts to send humans farther into the solar system to live and work for extended periods.
The President noted it was humanitys destiny to explore, and Americas destiny to lead. We salute this great American leader, who challenged us to chart a course for the future to benefit all humanity.