September 9, 1998 - Issue: Vol. 144, No. 118 — Daily Edition105th Congress (1997 - 1998) - 2nd Session
NEW WORLD ALTITUDE RECORD BREAKING FLIGHT
(Senate - September 09, 1998)
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[Page S10059] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] NEW WORLD ALTITUDE RECORD BREAKING FLIGHT Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize and celebrate the world record breaking achievements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai. This exemplary program is part of NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program, which first gained national recognition for record breaking Pathfinder flights last year. Mr. President, on December 10, 1997, I was proud to participate in a ceremony dedicating the previous record breaking flight that reached an altitude of 71,500 feet in memory of Hawaii's beloved hero, Colonel Ellison Onizuka. This was a most fitting tribute to honor Colonel Onizuka and inspire our youth to excellence. Since that time, the Pathfinder solar electric powered remotely piloted aircraft has undergone design upgrades which have allowed the ERAST Team to once again set a new world altitude record for unmanned solar-powered aircraft. This landmark was accomplished when the solarplane climbed to 80,200 feet above PMRF on August 6, 1998. I am particularly proud of the students and faculty of Kauai Community College and the talented personnel at PMRF who assisted NASA's ERAST Team in attaining this monumental achievement. The success of Pathfinder and Pathfinder Plus has opened new doors to possible educational, scientific, and technological applications that were not imaginable a few years ago. There are countless implications for advances in the fields of aviation, satellite deployment, solar energy technology, oceanic and atmospheric research and monitoring, and environmental protection. Mr. President, I commend NASA's ERAST Team, the students and faculty of Kauai Community College and the personnel at PMRF for demonstrating that through our imagination, we can reach unimagined realms in space and near space. PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Deanna Caldwell and Jennifer Gaib be allowed to be on the floor during the debate on campaign finance reform. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. GORTON addressed the Chair. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The distinguished Senator from Washington. ____________________