[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 29, 1997]
[Pages 1455-1456]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report on Aeronautics and Space 
October 29, 1997

To the Congress of the United States:
    I am pleased to transmit this report on the Nation's achievements in 
aeronautics and space during fiscal year (FY) 1996, as required under 
section 206 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 2476). Aeronautics and space activities in FY 1996 
involved 14 contributing departments and agencies of the Federal 
    A wide variety of aeronautics and space developments took place 
during FY 1996. The Administration issued an integrated National Space 
Policy, consolidating a number of previous policy directives into a 
singular, coherent vision of the future for the civil, commercial, and 
national security space sectors. The Administration also issued a formal 
policy on the future management and use of the U.S. Global Positioning 
    During FY 1996, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
(NASA) successfully completed eight Space Shuttle flights. NASA also 
launched 7 expendable launch vehicles, while the Department of Defense 
launched 9 and the commercial sector launched 13. In the reusable launch 
vehicle program, Vice President Gore announced NASA's selection of a 
private sector partner to design, fabricate, and flight test the X-33 
    Scientists made some dramatic new discoveries in various space-
related fields such as space science, Earth science and remote sensing, 
and life and microgravity science. Most notably, NASA researchers 
cooperating with the National Science Foundation found possible evidence 
of ancient microbial life in a meteorite believed to be from Mars.
    In aeronautics, activities included the development of technologies 
to improve performance, increase safety, reduce engine noise, and assist 
U.S. industry to be more competitive in the world market. Air traffic 
control activities focused on various automation systems to increase 
flight safety and enhance the efficient use of air space.

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    Close international cooperation with Russia occurred in the Shuttle-
Mir docking missions and with Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia in the 
International Space Station program. The United States also entered into 
new cooperative agreements with Japan and new partners in South America 
and Asia.
    In conclusion, FY 1996 was a very active and successful year for 
U.S. aeronautics and space programs. Efforts in these areas have 
contributed significantly to the Nation's scientific and technical 
knowledge, international cooperation, environmental health, and economic 

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

October 29, 1997.