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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)
June 21, 2004
RELEASE : 04-200
Orbiting Astronaut Calls SpaceShipOne Flight 'Fantastic'
Astronaut Mike Fincke, who is living and working on board the International Space Station, conveyed his congratulations to the SpaceShipOne team during space-to-ground communications today.

"Fantastic!" Fincke said upon hearing the news that test pilot Mike Melvill had successfully completed the first privately funded suborbital human space flight. "We were wishing them the best of luck. We're all in the space business together, helping mankind get off the planet and explore the stars."

"We're really proud of them, and please, if possible, extend to them our happiest congratulations," he said to the flight controllers in Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Later, Fincke discussed the SpaceShipOne achievement with NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. NASA Television will air the full audio transmission of Fincke's comments and his conversation with the NASA Administration beginning at 6 p.m. EDT today during the Video File feed.

NASA Television 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:

For more information on Fincke's mission aboard the International Space Station, visit:


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