Good evening. We’re so pleased NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard and so many of our NASA colleagues could join us for this momentous occasion.

We’re very pleased to have our Colorado Congressional and state leadership with us, including U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter and Colorado Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera.

It’s always a pleasure to see so many of our friends and Colorado industry partners.

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics was born with humble beginnings as the Upper Air Lab in 1948, a decade before NASA.

Today it is the world’s only research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto. It’s exciting to think what LASP will accomplish in the next 70 years.

CU and LASP combine all aspects of space exploration through expertise in science, engineering, mission operations, and scientific data analysis.

LASP space research enables the education and training of the next generation of space scientists, engineers and mission operators by integrating undergraduate and graduate students into our research teams.

These CU students have taken their unique experiences with them into government and industry, or they remain in academia to continue the enduring cycle of space exploration.

During the last 70 years LASP has participated in over 80 NASA space missions, 200 sub orbital NASA missions, and 10 CubeSat research missions.

Over the last year CU and LASP have participated in an unprecedented eight launches. LASP currently commands over 41 instruments in orbit and operationally supports four spacecraft.

The future of research continues in earnest with 15 space research instruments and eight  spacecraft in development, and numerous proposals for future research instruments and spacecraft.

This is all made possible by the importance of NASA’s investment in fundamental scientific research at universities, like CU Boulder, which is among the top one or two public universities for NASA research funding.

This investment is critical to the next generation of science discoveries, commercialization opportunities, and for developing the workforce talent pipeline that Colorado and the nation need. 

The legacy of LASP in space research over the last 70 years is recognized globally, along with its industry partners, and especially our NASA sponsor, in  attracting international interest in research collaboration.

This is demonstrated in our cooperative endeavors with the United Arab Emirates through the Emirate Mission to Mars program.

CU and LASP are postured and ready to advance and excel in the new space environment—one of entrepreneurial innovation, ingenuity, collaboration, and research

We look forward to humankind’s aspirations for deeper exploration and understanding of our universe, and eventual colonization of our solar system. Thank you for coming to help us celebrate.  

It’s now my pleasure to introduce LASP Director Dan Baker. Dr. Baker has been LASP Director for almost 25 of its 70 years. He continues to lead LASP to the success it enjoys today. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and a Professor of Physics. Please welcome Dan Baker.