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President Obama does a phone chat with space shuttle crew

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Photo: Pete Souza/White House

Talking about a long distance call. President Obama chatted with the crew on board the space shuttle Atlantis late yesterday. The crew got Wednesday off to rest and relax, after completing five spacewalks and numerous repairs and upgrades on the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the fifth and final tune-up for Hubble.

The president spoke with Atlantis Commander Scott Altman, while the rest of the crew listened in.

President Obama: “I wanted to personally tell you how proud I am of all of you and everything that you’ve accomplished. Like a lot of Americans, I’ve been watching with amazement the gorgeous images you’ve been sending back and the incredible repair mission that you’ve been making in space. I think you’re just providing a wonderful example of the kind of dedication and commitment to exploration that represents America and the space program generally. And these are traits that have always made this country strong and all of you personify them.”

Captain Altman: “Well thank you very much, sir. I think you’re exactly right that this mission’s been an example of what our country can do as we work together. It’s been a teamwork of all the folks on the ground in addition to the folks outside spacewalking making this all come together and work for us.” More of that conversation on the NASA shuttle website.


 Photo: NASA — the crew of Atlantis on board the space shuttle

Captain Altman’s crew includes astronauts Gregory C. Johnson, Michael Good, Andrew Feustel, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, and Megan McArthur. Today the crew is preparing for the trip home. Atlantis is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at around 10 a.m. EDT tomorrow. 

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