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Prepared Comments by Astronaut Eileen Collins Republican National Convention

Press Release From: 2016 GOP Convention
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

***EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY***

July 20, 2016 press@gopconvention2016.com

CLEVELAND – The 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) continues today in Cleveland, Ohio. The speakers participating in the evening program will expand upon the theme: "Make America First Again."

America has always been an exceptional nation. Unfortunately, years of bad policies and poor leadership have weakened our position abroad and limited our opportunities here at home. In a Trump administration, America will reclaim its historic role in the world, and Americans' best interests will be the touchstone for any presidential decision on domestic or foreign policy.

The speakers participating in Wednesday night's program will discuss the Republican vision for a new century of American leadership and excellence. Below are the as prepared for delivery texts for the following speakers: Florida Governor Rick Scott; Laura Ingraham; Phil Ruffin; Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; Eileen Collins; Michelle Van Etten; Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado Jr.; Pastor Darrell Scott; and Harold Hamm.

Please note that speeches are embargoed until delivery.

Eileen Collins, Astronaut (retired) Eileen Collins is an astronaut and veteran of four Space Shuttle missions. She was the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission and logged over 537 hours in space during her tenure at NASA.

Collins will issue a call to once again make America first in space exploration.

From the moment the first Pilgrims arrived on our shores, Americans have been asking, "what's next?" We are a nation built by the passion of people who weren't afraid to do something first, to step into the unknown, and pave our own way forward. We are a nation of explorers.

In 1961, President Kennedy issued a challenge to America: to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. 47 years ago on this very day, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin answered that call and walked on the moon. They took with them an American flag and a plaque bearing the inscription: "here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969. We came in peace for all mankind."

We landed on the moon to fulfill a leadership challenge and to explore. Exploration leads to innovation and discovery. Our successful robotic missions to Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto have provided valuable new information about our own planet.

But in 2011, the space shuttle program ended. The last time the US launched our own astronauts from our own soil was over 5 years ago. We must do better than that!

Countries that are strong explore, invent, and discover to remain resilient in a changing world. I am honored to have played a role in our nation's heritage of explorers as the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, joining the ranks of those that have fought to lead the way.

We are all so proud of our Apollo program that put our astronauts on the Moon: first, in peace, for all mankind. Nations that lead on the frontier, lead in the world. We need that visionary leadership again. Leadership that will inspire the next generation to have that same passion.

We need leadership that will challenge every American to ask, "What's next?" We need leadership that will make America's space program first again. We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump.

Thank you and God bless the United States of America!

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Paid for by the Committee on Arrangements for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. www.convention.gop.

SOURCE 2016 Republican National Convention

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