Declaring "the force is with us," President Reagan today named a national commission to develop civilian space goals and reiterated his defense of his "Star Wars" military space shield to help "mankind ease away from the nuclear parapet."
Reagan, appearing at the National Space Club, announced the makeup of a 14-member National Commission on Space that includes outgoing U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick.
He said the panel will "look beyond short-term steps to develop long-term goals for our national civilian space enterprise" and "devise an aggressive civilian space agenda to carry America into the 21st Century."
Reagan named as chairman Thomas Paine, the former National Aeronautics and Space Administration director. Laurel Wilkening, the vice provost of the University of Arizona, was designated vice chairman.
Others on the commission include Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space. Reagan also named legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager to the panel.
Although Reagan has publicly denounced the use of the term Star Wars to describe what he calls the Strategic Defense Initiative, he borrowed a line from the popular movie of that name.
"It isn't about fear," he said of the program. "It's about hope--and in that struggle, if you will pardon my stealing a film line--the force is with us."
Reagan received the prestigious Goddard Memorial Trophy from the space club in recognition of his efforts to boost space flight in an era of budget cutbacks. The award was named for Robert Goddard, America's space pioneer of the 1920s.