President Reagan gave the shuttle Discovery astronauts heroes’ welcomes Friday in the Rose Garden, saluting them for their courage and saying “thank you for taking us into space . . . and welcome home.”
Shuttle Commander Frederick H. Hauck presented the President with a blue astronaut’s jacket, complete with patches from the mission, that had been taken into space aboard the shuttle.
Hauck and his crew--Richard O. Covey, John M. Lounge, David C. Hilmers and George D. Nelson--had visited Capitol Hill a day earlier and were applauded by members of the House.
The Discovery flight, which began on Sept. 29, was the first shuttle mission since the Challenger blew up on liftoff with a loss of seven lives in January, 1986.