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Brash pays tribute to outstanding New Zealander

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

17 March 2004

Brash pays tribute to outstanding New Zealander

Dr William Pickering was an outstanding New Zealander, and his passing will be mourned by many around the world, says National Party Leader Don Brash.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Dr Pickering left New Zealand to study in California and became one of the most important figures in space exploration.

"As Director of NASA's jet propulsion laboratory, Dr Pickering was in charge of launching the United States's first space satellite. He also oversaw historic missions to the Moon and exploration of the solar system.

"Dr Pickering received an array of international recognition, including an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 1976, and the prestigious President of the United States National Medal of Science.

"He also appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice and was once described as 'New Zealand's greatest gift to America'," says Dr Brash.

"NASA has paid tribute to Dr Pickering today, saying that 'His pioneering work is the very foundation we have built upon to explore our solar system and beyond...it was his leadership that took America into space and opened up the moon and planets to the world.'

Last year Dr Pickering received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the university where he started his career - Canterbury University.

"Dr Pickering deserves to be remembered alongside Sir Edmund Hillary and Lord Ernest Rutherford as one of New Zealand's most outstanding sons," said Dr Brash.

Ends

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