From the President

 

The Aerospace Corporation is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Our theme, “Honoring the Legacy, Assuring the Mission,” celebrates the proud Aerospace legacy in national security while maintaining the focus on serving our customers and mission partners. Throughout the year, the company has commemorated this milestone at every operating location through a series of programs and events—distinguished speakers, historical publications, and convocations—designed to honor the corporation’s illustrious past and pay tribute to its inestimable contribution to the nation’s space efforts.

Looking back, it is truly remarkable to think about the changes that have taken place in the aerospace industry since the corporation’s founding in 1960. During the Cold War the primary efforts of Aerospace were focused on overseeing the development of launch vehicles that could reliably carry ballistic missiles and satellites that could monitor the Earth and identify national security threats. There was little understanding of the space environment, and scientists and engineers were just beginning to deploy experiments to determine how that environment would affect space vehicles. Humans had just begun to travel into space, and every effort to further develop space exploration capabilities was challenging, new, and exciting.

The Aerospace Corporation was mandated by Congress as a federally funded research and development center, and the company has been involved in virtually every space effort since that time. Although the goals, efforts, programs, and customers of Aerospace may have evolved and changed over the years, the role of the company has stayed true to its mandate—to be an impartial, trusted advisor to the U.S. government on space programs vital to national security. Congress also recognized that such an organization would have to secure the trust of both government and industry by being completely objective and free from organizational conflict of interest.

Today, as in the past, the success of the corporation can be attributed largely to its set of core values—its work mantra, if you will: dedication to mission success, technical excellence, commitment to our people, objectivity, and integrity. We believe that living these values affirms our commitment to the jobs we do every day, and honors the legacy of our past, while striving for 100 percent mission success today and into the future.

In this issue of Crosslink, readers will find articles related to the selected program efforts and work that has been accomplished over the past 50 years by Aerospace employees. The theme of “then and now” is reflected in these articles, and is a testament to the dedication, hard work, and commitment that makes us proud of Aerospace and its role in serving the nation. We hope that it will give you some insight into the past, an understanding of where the aerospace industry is today, and a glimpse into where the future may take us.

Wanda Austin
President and CEO

Back to the Spring 2010 Table of Contents