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Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada and Space Shuttle Astronauts

September 25, 1984

The President. As part of Prime Minister Mulroney's visit to the United States, it's most appropriate to recognize our close and continuing cooperation in the pursuit of the many peaceful opportunities of space. Canada was our first international satellite partner during the early days of the space program, and that partnership has grown stronger ever since.

Most recently, we watched Canada's contribution to the space shuttle perform with perfection—the remote manipulator system, better known as the Canadarm. It's been used on almost every space shuttle mission. And this past April, the Canadarm retrieved the crippled solar max satellite and then placed it safely back into orbit after repairing it on board.

And today I'm delighted to have the opportunity to introduce Canada's first astronaut, Dr. Marc Garneau. Early next month, Marc will be aboard space shuttle mission 41-G and will conduct about 10 experiments in space science and technology and life science. These important experiments will help build a better tomorrow in space and right here on Earth.

Marc is joined by two other members of next month's shuttle—Bob Crippen, the mission commander, and Kathy Sullivan. And Bob commanded the mission when the Canadarm was first used to deploy a satellite and was also aboard when solar max was retrieved and repaired. And Kathy will take the first spacewalk by an American woman, and I know how she's looking forward to that opportunity.

Astronaut Sullivan. Yes, sir, very much.

The President. The space shuttle has opened a new era to pursue the many scientific, educational, industrial, and commercial opportunities of space, and I'm proud that Canada is an important part of this adventure. And as we work to meet the next challenge, the development of a permanently manned space station, we want Canada and all of our friends to join us.

Our future can be shaped by our dreams and visions. And working together on the space shuttle and our space station we can push back the frontiers of space and open the doors to discovery, opportunity, and progress.

Mr. Prime Minister, let me close by presenting you with a photo album showing the Canadarm being used. I'm turning the wrong way, except I had to get this, didn't I? [Laughter] Also, it shows the Canadarm that was used on all the previous missions, also. And, also, we have a plaque, which I think we will just display and give to you without us—not that we're not both able-bodied— [laughter] —we are. But this contains the U.S. and Canadian flags that were flown on previous missions when the Canadarm was being used. So, please accept these as symbols of our strong friendship and our confidence in a bright future for both of our great nations.

The Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President.

Well, Mr. President, in a recent election campaign, my party and I campaigned on a program, in part, of refurbishing the relationship—historic relationship—of trust and friendship between the United States of America and Canada. And this implies no subservience. It invites merely a degree of maturity and understanding that our trade and our technological advances hinge upon an excellent relationship which my government and I will always work towards improving.

And I think, Mr. President, the indication of that in the past is the joint efforts that we have made in space in the peaceful pursuit of mutual objectives in that area, as we will continue to work in the peaceful pursuit of a durable peace for all mankind. And this, I think, symbolizes what two sovereign countries can do together.

[At this point, the Prime Minister spoke in French. He then continued his remarks in English.]

Our sincere thanks and congratulations to you, our astronauts, who are symbols of accomplishment and valor and courage and unity—symbols, hopeful symbols, for all mankind.

Mr. President, to you and to your colleagues, my thanks. And to the astronauts, our warm good wishes. Thank you.

[At this point, the President, Prime Minister Mulroney, NASA Administrator James M. Beggs, and the astronauts viewed space program models.]

The Prime Minister. Mr. President, just before you leave, although we're in a period of some austerity in Canada, we would like to make a presentation to you symbolizing Canada's contribution to our joint effort.

The President. Well, thank you very much.

The Prime Minister. And we would like to convey the good wishes and the pride of the people of Canada in our joint accomplishments.

The President. Well, thank you. Thank you very much.

The Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 11:53 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Prior to meeting with the astronauts, the President and the Prime Minister met in the Oval Office, together with their advisers.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada and Space Shuttle Astronauts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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