Richard Nixon photo

Telephone Conversation With the Commander of the Skylab 1 Crew.

June 17, 1973


CAPT. CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD, JR., USN. Hello, sir. How are you?

THE PRESIDENT. Fine. Is this Pete Conrad?

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Yes, sir. All of us are listening.

THE PRESIDENT. Nice to talk to you again, and Commander Kerwin and Commander Weitz are there with you, right?


THE PRESIDENT. Well, I just want you to know that everybody here has been following what you have been doing, and I guess the way I could summarize this project is that it proves that man still matters. With all the technical machines, and so forth, that you had to work with, it proved that when there were difficulties, that the ingenuity of men in space is what really mattered, and you have made us all very proud with the way you handled some difficult problems in this project.

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. You will be returning on the 22d, I understand.

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Yes, sir. We are counting every day. That is, I think, Day 173. We are working on Day 168.

THE PRESIDENT. I see. Well, I will be out in California at that time, and after you have splashed down, I hope to welcome the three of you, perhaps. Maybe you can come up to San Clemente and we will say hello.

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Wonderful. I am sitting here talking to you right now, coming up on the coast of California, looking out the window at the full Moon.

THE PRESIDENT. IS that right? Let me also say that this is Father's Day.

I understand each of you is a father, so congratulations.

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. We will look forward to seeing you after you get back.

CAPTAIN CONRAD. Yes, sir. And thank you very much for the call.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you, Pete.

Note: The telephone conversation began at 10:09 a.m. The President spoke from the study in his residence at Key Biscayne, Fla. The crew was aboard the Skylab space station, which was in orbit 275 miles above the Earth.

Richard Nixon, Telephone Conversation With the Commander of the Skylab 1 Crew. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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