I want to thank you for the opportunity to attend the ALMA Inauguration, which heralded a truly momentous event. Since joining NSF, I had received several briefings by the Division of Astronomical Sciences, seen pictures, and read background material, but none of them prepared me for the experience of visiting the physical facility. The scale of the project, the grandeur of the setting, the success of the partnership, the remarkable people I met, and, indeed, the sheer audacity of the undertaking were well beyond what I had imagined.
AUI can point with justifiable pride to both the technical accomplishment and the global partnership embodied in ALMA as a prime example of science for the 21st century. We at NSF appreciate and value your role in the project and in the development of astronomy and associated sciences in Chile. Please convey my appreciation to your Board and to all of the AUI staff.
I look forward to seeing the explosion of science from the international community using ALMA. Congratulations on the successful launch of this inspiring project.