Honorary President. Astronaut, Veteran of the First Moon Landing
As an Apollo Mission astronaut, I had the privilege of living out a dream long imagined in science fiction and fantasy. A century earlier, the incomparable Jules Verne conjured up the adventure I was fortunate enough to experience: taking an extra-terrestrial step. And when, in 1969, I first set foot on the gray, powdery surface of the Moon, I did so as a representative for all mankind as your representative.
Human beings need to explore. It is in our nature. Exploration provides profound satisfaction to our natural curiosity. It offers real-world scope for our imaginations. Perhaps most important of all, it deepens our understanding. Think of how our vision of our planet changed when we were able to view its beauty from space.
I believe that now, 37 years after our first trip to the Moon, space exploration is poised to undertake a new challenge, introducing our entire species to adventure on the grandest scale.
If we persevere in the courageous spirit that has brought us this far, space travel will be a reality and not just for an elite, but available to all.
Will this new enterprise help us to aquire a better understanding of our condition and our responsibilities? I believe so. I believe also that Spaceship Earth will always be our best port of anchor and that we must preserve it, now and forever, from destruction. We are the only ones who can attempt the salvage.
We will not deserve to explore new worlds if we cannot save our own.
For many years now, I have had the pleasure of sharing the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festivalís contagious spirit of discovery not only with my fellow explorers, but also with enthusiastic audiences from all over the world.
My wish for all those joining us now in Los Angeles is that you, too, will capture that spirit and be reminded that life can be a formidable voyage for us all, whoever we are, whatever we do.
On Spaceship Earth, we are all astronauts, journeying through space. And when we study the stars, weíre not just making dreams we are designing our future. May this future always be full of extraordinary voyages.
Welcome to Jules Verne Adventures in America the very place where Verne imagined that one day, a rocket would take three men to the Moon.