Statement on the Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery
On behalf of all Americans, I wish the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery a safe and successful mission. Today's launch marks NASA's return to flight following the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia crew in February 2003. I thank the men and women of NASA who have dedicated themselves to putting our space program back on track. Our space program is a source of great national pride, and this flight is an essential step toward our goal of continuing to lead the world in space science, human space flight, and space exploration.
George W. Bush, Statement on the Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/216449