Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Aeronautics and Space Activities
the Congress of the
I am pleased to transmit this report on the Nation's progress in aeronautics and space during calendar year 1986. The report is provided in accordance with Section 206 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2476).
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of the brave men and women aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, but it is more important to remember them for their bravery and pursuit of challenge. I believe they would be proud of the challenge we have undertaken to move the Nation forward into a new era of space flight, one more stable, more reliable, and safer than before.
activities continue to provide vital support to
In 1986, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense initiated the joint National Aero-Space Plane research program that could result in an entirely new family of aerospace vehicles. Also, NASA and the Department of Defense examined and continue to study space transportation requirements for the late 1990's and early years of the 21st century. This study could lead to future development and technology efforts associated with advanced manned and unmanned space transportation systems aimed at providing increased responsiveness, flexibility, and reliability, as well as learning the costs of assured access to space while meeting evolving payload requirements.
Advanced planning continued for a permanently manned Space Station. At my request, our friends and allies cooperated with us in the initial planning and design phases of the Space Station. In addition to helping us build an enhanced facility, their investments will help to strengthen free world ties in space science and exploration.
During the year, we continued to unlock the mysteries of the universe. In January 1986, Voyager 2 become the first spacecraft to fly past Uranus, transmitting over 7,000 images of that planet and its rings and moons. The fastest known spinning binary pulsar was discovered.
In studies of the Earth and its environment, scientists continued to observe conditions from Earthbound and spaceborne platforms and to participate in interdisciplinary research activities that will allow better understanding and prediction of environmental problems throughout the world.
most of you are aware, space is no longer just the domain of the
of the Challenger tragedy, the year 1986 was a difficult one for all of us who
The White House,