Astronaut Mike Fincke and cosmonaut Gennady Padalka paid tribute to President Ronald Reagan during a video downlink message from the International Space Station. The following is text of that message:
"We, the crew of the International Space Station, join millions of others in mourning the passing of President Reagan, who worked tirelessly to bring the world closer together," Padalka said.
"President Reagan proposed building the Space Station," Fincke said, "which Gennady and I are privileged to be working aboard today for the benefit of all humankind. He spoke to astronauts in space during his tenure in the White House, greeted the crew of Columbia at Edwards Air Force Base after its fourth voyage and mourned the loss of the Challenger crew along with the rest of us.
"President Reagan realized that freedom would ring in a new era of International cooperation and with his vision guiding us, the United States again began to work with our former Cold War rivals, the Russians. Within a decade, the American Space Shuttle Atlantis docked to the Russian Mir Space Station, and President Reagan's Space Station Freedom became the International Space Station.
"As the ninth expedition to the International Space Station, and in honor of President Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, we remember him on behalf of all of NASA with 40 chimes of the ISS's ship's bell. We all mourn his passing as freedom loving people around the world. God bless him, and God bless America."
The message will first air during today's 6 p.m. EDT "Video File." NASA "Video File" airs at 10 a.m., Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and Midnight EDT.
NASA TV is available on AMC-9, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. For information about NASA TV on the Internet, visit:
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