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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 2, 2005

President Calls Crew Members of Space Shuttle Discovery
Via Telephone

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Space

10:23 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Commander Collins, can you hear me?

COMMANDER COLLINS: Yes, sir, we hear you loud and clear. Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Thank you for taking my phone call. I just wanted to tell you all how proud the American people are of our astronauts. I want to thank you for being risk-takers for the sake of exploration. I want to welcome our Japanese and Australian and Russian friends. And I wish you Godspeed in your mission. I know you've got very important work to do ahead of you. We look forward to seeing the successful completion of this mission. And, obviously, as you prepare to come back, a lot of Americans will be praying for a safe return.

So it's great talking to you. Thanks for being such great examples of courage for a lot of our fellow citizens.

COMMANDER COLLINS: Thank you very much, Mr. President. We want to tell you that we really enjoy what we're doing, we really believe in our mission, and we believe in space exploration and getting people off the planet and seeing what's out there. So the steps that we're taking right now are really worth it, and we want everybody to know that. And thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, listen, I want to thank you, Commander, and thank your fellow astronauts there. I agree with you -- I think what you're doing is really important. And you've got a strong supporter for your mission here in the White House. I will tell you Laura went down and watched the launch in Florida, with my little brother, Jeb, and came back all excited about the energy that -- there on the East Coast of Florida. But we're with you, and wish you all the very best. Thanks for taking my phone call. Now get back to work.

COMMANDER COLLINS: Thank you very much, sir. We did fly over Texas today and had a good look at it. It was beautiful. Have a good day.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Laughter.)

END 10:27 A.M. EDT

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