President Bush called the space shuttle Discovery on Tuesday to wish the astronauts well, congratulate them on their space walks and invite them to the White House.

Bush told crew members he had watched closely as astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael Fossum executed a space walk, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

"He said that the astronauts represent the best of service and exploration and thanked them for what they're doing," Perino said.

Perino said Bush told the astronauts: "When you're back, I hope you can come to the White House. Please bring your families. I want to welcome you to the White House."

She said that during the call, Bush, former governor of Texas, also noted that Fossum was a Texas A&M graduate.