NASA Official Brian Dunbar presents a short speech to the media on the NASA website; it is also viewable on YouTube. This is the transcript of his words.

“On October first, we celebrate NASA’s 60th birthday.

From its inception, our great agency has changed the world for the better, and our story continues to be one of accomplishment and leadership.

President Eisenhower launched our nation into the Space Age, and President Kennedy gave us the charge to reach the Moon.

Over six incredible decades, we’ve brought the world an amazing number of bold missions in science, aviation, and human exploration.

NASA and its workforce have never failed to raise the bar of human potential and blaze a trail to the future.

And we’re still doing it!

We celebrate our legacy today with great promise and a strong direction from the President to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.

Our work touches people across the globe.

I’m looking forward to the next breathtaking achievements of our astronauts in space, scientific discoveries undreamed of in our solar system and beyond, and breakthroughs in air and space technology that will fuel our missions and improve life for everyone on the planet.

America will continue to lead in space.

We will reach new milestones that change the world, and we will inspire the next generation to build on our legacy.

As we celebrate 60 years of NASA, I want to thank all of you once again for the vital work you do each day in support of the NASA mission and on behalf of the United States.

Together, our momentum is charting NASA’s next great era of exploration.

Ad Astra.”

What is true is that the space race fueled by the cold war spurred American ingenuity and pushed the boundaries of space. Together, even in the slightly less tense geopolitical climate, the three giants, America, China, and Russia, compete together with Japan and Israel continuing to invest in Space exploration. The big difference today is that Space is no longer the domain of nations, it is now the domain of the private sector too.