Status Report

Tribute to Astronauts Walz and Bursch of ISS Expedition (Senate – August 01, 2002)

By SpaceRef Editor
August 1, 2002
Filed under , ,

[Page: S7890]

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    Mr. VOINOVICH. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize and pay tribute to Astronauts Colonel Carl E. Walz and Captain Daniel W. Bursch for their significant contributions and record-setting accomplishments as part of the International Space Station’s Expedition 4 Crew.

   Astronauts Walz, Bursch, and Expedition Commander and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Ivanovich Onufrienko departed from Kennedy Space Flight Center on December 5, 2001, for what became a 6 1/2 month stay aboard the International Space Station. The crew of three spent 196 days in space, with Carl Walz and Dan Bursch establishing a new U.S. space flight endurance record. The previous U.S. record belonged to Astronaut Shannon Lucid, who spent 188 continuous days in space aboard the Russian Mir Space Station.
With four previous flights and his Expedition 4 mission, Astronaut Walz also established a new U.S. record for the most days in space, with a total of 231 days, surpassing Dr. Shannon Lucid’s record of 223 days.

   We look to our Nation’s space program to improve life here on Earth and explore the unknown. We also look toward the future, to the time when we will extend life beyond the bounds of Earth. On February 20, 2002, while aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 4 crew spoke with Ohio’s former Senator and NASA pioneer, John Glenn, who was the first American to orbit the Earth 40 years ago.

   We have come a long way in the U.S. space program, and our future discoveries are limited only by our imagination and commitment. We must give special recognition to our Astronauts whose personal and professional commitment to live and work in space continues to break barriers and thresholds.

   While on the International Space Station, in addition to maintaining, operating and performing research experiments, the Expedition 4 crew installed the S-zero truss segment. The S-zero truss forms the backbone of the Station which will eventually hold the four solar array “wings” of the U.S. segment. The crew tested the new Quest Airlock and performed the first spacewalk from it without the Space Shuttle present. The crew also was the first to use the Space Station Robotic Arm as a “cherry
picker,” maneuvering space walkers “flying” on the end of the arm during spacewalks.

   After an extended, U.S. record-setting stay on the International Space Station, the crew returned to Earth with Shuttle Endeavor, landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 19, 2002.

   Astronaut Carl E. Walz, a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Cleveland, OH. He and his wife, the former Pamela J. Glady, have two children. Walz has received numerous Distinguished Service medals, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, three NASA Space Flight Medals, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

   Astronaut Daniel W. Bursch, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a Captain in the U.S. Navy, considers Vestal, NY to be his hometown. He and his wife, the former Roni J. Patterson, have four children. Captain Bursch also has received recognition for distinguished service, including the Defense Superior Service Medal and NASA Space Flight Medals. Bursch has over 3,100 flight hours in more than 35 different aircraft and has logged a noteworthy 227 days in space.

   On behalf of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I thank astronauts Carl Walz and Dan Bursch for their courage, commitment and contributions in service to the United States of America.

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SpaceRef staff editor.