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.




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