The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the death of veteran journalist Walter Cronkite.
“It is with great sadness that the NASA family learned of Walter Cronkite’s passing. He led the transition from print and radio reporting to the juggernaut that became television journalism. His insight and integrity were unparalleled, and his compassion helped America make it through some of the most tragic and trying times of the 20th century.
“From the earliest days of the space program, Walter brought the excitement, the drama and the achievements of space flight directly into our homes. But it was the conquest of the moon in the late 1960s that energized Walter most about exploration. He called it the most important feat of all time and said that the success of Apollo 11 would be remembered 500 years from now as humanity’s greatest achievement.
“It was Walter Cronkite’s impassioned reporting on America’s inaugural moon landing that inspired me to join in the dreams of many to travel to space and accept the risks that this exploration brings while I was a student in naval flight training.
“In honor of his ethical and enthusiastic coverage of our nations’ space program, NASA was proud to honor Walter in 2006 with an Ambassador of Exploration Award and presented him with an Apollo lunar sample.
“For decades, we had the privilege of learning about our world from the original ‘anchorman.’ He was a true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Walter’s family and his millions of friends and supporters.”