Welcome, we have a great program today and I am glad that you are with us. Our partnership with NASA is long and fruitful, and we're pleased for this opportunity to have Administrator Bolden join us on campus here at CU-Boulder.
Our relationship with NASA goes back decades. NASA funded our first building to house the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, which is now the core of Duane Hall on the main campus, with a Center of Excellence grant in 1965. Today, NASA provides more space-related funding to CU than any other public university.
In return we have provided human and technological capital. As I speak, CU alumnus Steve Swanson is working on the International Space Station for the next six months, and our Mars atmospheric explorer, MAVEN, is en route, scheduled to enter Martian orbit in September.
Of course we are immensely proud that CU-Boulder is the only university in the world to have designed, built and launched instruments to every planet in the solar system and Pluto. That would not have been possible without NASA.
Currently we have instruments in orbit around Saturn and Mercury and we are en route to Pluto on New Horizons and to Mars with MAVEN, as I mentioned.
- MAVEN represents a gratifying partnership not only with NASA but also with two of our many industry partners: Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance.
- Colorado has the nation's second-largest aerospace economy and we're proud to play a key role in that success.
- It is clear that government, industry and academic partnership drive success in space.
Our Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics has operated more spacecraft than all other university-based organizations combined and employs about 150 undergraduate and graduate students in all areas of science, engineering and mission operations, preparing them for the space-industry workforce.
BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA-sponsored center in CU-Boulder's aerospace engineering sciences department, has designed, built and flown more than 50 payloads on more than 40 spaceflights.
We proudly wave the moniker of Space University. Eighteen CU-Boulder astronaut-affiliates have flown 43 missions in space, spanning NASA's Mercury, Apollo and space shuttle programs. Two former NASA astronauts—Jim Voss and Joe Tanner—are members of our faculty.
We take great pride in our relationship with NASA but it goes beyond space exploration. We learn a lot about Earth from space. For example, scientists from NASA, CU and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)—our joint institute with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—are combining to study changes in sea level, glaciers, ice sheets and groundwater.
This summer NASA, CU, CIRES, NOAA and NCAR—the National Center for Atmospheric Research—will deploy instruments to better understand why lung-damaging episodes of air pollution occur so often, and how those changes relate to climate.
We are fortunate to have Administrator Bolden meet today with students both this morning and this afternoon. This afternoon he meets with the Aerospace Engineering Student Projects Symposium, a great opportunity for the students.
Today, it is my honor to introduce Administrator Bolden to you. NASA is important to Boulder and the Front Range in both economic and inspirational ways. His presence here today further reinforces that.
Major General Bolden began as NASA's 12th Administrator in July 2009. As Administrator, he leads a nationwide NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S. space program.
Administrator Bolden has overseen the safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration, focused on full utilization of the International Space Station. He has led the agency in developing a Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts to deep space destinations, such as an asteroid and Mars.
Administrator Bolden's 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions and piloting two others. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission. Please welcome NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.