The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission recently named
the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum
(NASM) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) as partners in the celebration of the 100th anniversary
of the Wright brothers’ first powered flight. The two
organizations will join forces with the Commission and eight
other partner organizations to create awareness and plan
celebratory activities for 2003.

“NASM and NASA are an integral part of our nation’s aviation
heritage,” General J.R. “Jack” Dailey, chairman of the
Commission and director of the NASM, said. “Both
organizations have done a phenomenal job of educating the
public about aviation and space, and will continue to expand
their efforts throughout the celebration year.”

NASM maintains the largest collection of historic air and
spacecraft in the world and is also a vital center for
research into the history, science and technology of aviation
and space flight. Located on the National Mall in Washington,
the museum has hundreds of artifacts on display including the
original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” the
Apollo 11 command module and a lunar rock sample that
visitors can touch.

Since its inception in 1958, NASA has provided critical
science and technology for exploring the farthest reaches of
air and space, and understanding and improving life on Earth.
Today, NASA remains a leading force in scientific research
and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration,
as well as science and technology in general.

“The Wright brothers’ discovery continues to change the world
we live in,” NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe said. “NASA is
proud to be a part of the celebration that will pay tribute
to their accomplishment, their courage and the innovation
that followed. Honoring this anniversary is a sterling
opportunity for us to inspire the next generation of
explorers and pioneers, as the Wright brothers were
themselves inspired so many years ago.”

Other partners in the “Centennial of Flight: Born of Dreams –
– Inspired by Freedom” celebration include: American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); Aviation
Week’s “The Next Century of Flight”; Aviation World’s Fair
2003; EAA; First Flight Centennial Commission and First
Flight Centennial Foundation of North Carolina; Inventing
Flight: Dayton 2003; and the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission was created by
Congress to expand national and international interest in the
commemoration of the centennial of powered flight. The
Commission is coordinating a national outreach campaign and
advising the President, Congress and federal agencies on the
most effective ways to encourage and promote national and
international participation in 2003. More information is
available from Christian Markow of the Commission on 804/675-

More information about the Commission can be found on the
U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission Web site at