Remarks to the Astronauts On Board the Space Shuttle Columbia During its Second Voyage

November 13, 1981

The President. Joe and Dick, this is Ronald Reagan.

Astronauts. Hello, Mr. President.

The President. Hello. I wanted to make a request. I just wondered if when you go over Washington before your landing at Edwards Air Force Base, could you pick me up and take me out? I haven't been to California since last August. [Laughter]

Astronauts. We'd be proud to, sir.

The President. Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Let me just say, I'm sure you know how proud everyone down here is and how this whole nation -- I'm sure the world -- but certainly America, has got its eyes and its heart on you.

Astronauts. Thank you very much, Mr. President. We're awfully honored that we got the opportunity to take part in this, and I'm sure that we're very glad that you're getting a chance to meet all the people there in Houston that are making it happen.

The President. Well, I've enjoyed meeting them. I told them when I came in this was a rare experience for an old horse cavalry officer.

Astronauts. Mr. President, we certainly do appreciate your taking the trouble to show all the people working on the space shuttle how much you care, and it makes us mighty proud.

The President. I care. And, again, God bless you both. All of us here are watching with great pride.

Astronauts. Thank you very much, sir. Thank you, sir, very much.

The President. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke from the Mission Control area of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tex., to astronauts Joe Henry Engle and Richard H. Truly, who were in their second day of the space voyage.