Obama pays tribute to NASA's oldest space shuttle

By REUTERS
March 4, 2011 02:34

HOUSTON - US President Barack Obama on Thursday paid homage to NASA's oldest space shuttle and urged astronauts aboard the International Space Station to put their new robotic crew-mate to work.

Obama's six-minute phone call from the White House to the orbital outpost 220 miles (350 km) above Earth came during shuttle Discovery's 10-day stay at the station, the shuttle's 39th and final mission.

"It's traveled more distance in space and spent more time in orbit than any of its peers in the shuttle fleet," Obama said of Discovery, NASA's oldest surviving spaceship.

Sister ships Endeavour and Atlantis are scheduled for their final voyages within six months, effectively ending a 30-year chapter in NASA space vehicles.


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