It was a Texas reunion of sorts at the White House today
as the crew of STS-98 and their families got an opportunity to
spend some time with the President of the United States.

NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Mission Commander
Kenneth Cockrell, a native of Austin, TX, led the rest of
Cockrell’s Space Shuttle Atlantis crewmates into the Oval
Office for a meeting with President George W. Bush, the former
Texas Governor.

Administrator Goldin and the crew presented the President, who
is a former fighter jet pilot, with a blue NASA flight jacket.

During STS-98 in January, Commander Cockrell, Pilot Mark
Polansky, and Mission Specialists Tom Jones, Marsha Ivins and
Bob Curbeam, carried out one of the most important missions
yet to the International Space Station, carrying the U.S.
Destiny Laboratory Module to the orbiting research post. The
crew also completed three spacewalks, relocated a docking port
and delivered supplies and equipment to the Expedition One
crew living aboard the space station.
After today’s White House visit, the crew went to Capitol Hill
to meet with a number of Congressional leaders.

This trip to the Washington, DC area is a homecoming for
astronauts Jones, Curbeam and Ivins, who were all born in
Baltimore, MD. Earlier this week, all five crewmembers
received an enthusiastic reception at the Maryland Science
Center, where they met with hundreds of young students to talk
about their experiences in space and the importance of a good

Next week, astronauts Jones and Curbeam plan to help the
Baltimore Orioles launch a new baseball season by throwing out
the first pitch at Camden Yards as part of the team’s opening
day celebration.

Images from today’s White House visit are available on the
Internet at: