State Department

Keith Krach 03.30.2021

Under Secretary of State, Keith Krach Gives Thanks to NASA For Making Perseverance a Reality

Under Secretary of State, Keith Krach congratulates NASA and all those who helped make Perseverance a reality

Keith Krach: Hi, I’m Keith Krach and on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, I want to congratulate the team at NASA for the successful launch of the Perseverence Rover as it heads off on that three hundred million mile journey to the Red Planet. There it will search for evidence of ancient life, study Mars’ climate, and collect samples that will be returned to Earth. In particular, I want to congratulate NASA administrator Jim Brounstein for this feat. He’s had an incredible summer and under his leadership, NASA is on a roll. NASA’s joint venture with Space X with its successful completion of the first crewed space mission launched from US soil in nearly a decade proves once again the United States is the world’s undisputed leader in space exploration. As undersecretary of state, I’m responsible for turbocharging America’s economic competitiveness. The commercialization of space is critical to that mission. My team in the Office of Space and Advanced Technology could not have a better interagency partner than NASA. We both know the competition is heating up. And it’s important that the United States continue to work with our private sector and our partners around the world to keep space free and peaceful. The Perseverance Rover lifted off within days of a Mars orbiter launched by the UAE and then another Mars rover launched by China. But Perseverance is by far the most sophisticated and advanced of them all. It will teach us untold lessons about the composition of Mars, the potential of our solar system, the whole life, and also the remarkable capabilities of American ingenuity in space. NASA could not have picked a more perfect name for this amazing mission than Perseverance. Recently, I was asked by a reporter what the launch of Perseverence personally means to me. I couldn’t help myself. I said it means everything to me. I told them space has always served as an inspiration because it’s pushing the boundaries of human potential to explore the unknown. As a young boy, I was captivated by the space race. It’s probably why I ended up going off to Perdue, the cradle of astronauts, to study engineering, even one of my roommates ended up to be an astronaut who flew four shuttle missions. This launch also represents the American dream, that beacon of hope and light for the freedom to do anything you put your mind to. My dad would always say, "The American dream is when the students surpass the professor." He would tell me that his dream for me was to have a better life and accomplish things he could never imagine. I actually told that same thing to my children. That’s why I’m so proud of my son, Steve. He’s actually spent the majority of his career designing the Perseverence Rovers robot arm at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California. Steve gave me this ring, out of those titanium chips from that robot arm, and it reminds me of my father every time I look at it because I know how proud my father would be of Steve’s service to our country and being part of this amazing team of NASA engineers and scientists. And especially all the perseverance that went into bringing this concept to life. This mission to Mars is emblematic of how our nation has persevered through tough times and is always striving, achieving, and pushing the boundaries of science in the endless quest of the final frontier. So to Administrator Bridenstine, my son Steve, and the entire NASA family, I wish you all congratulations. And may God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

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