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Crew Excited About Endeavour's Success

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:56 am
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(NASA) – A few hours after landing back at Kennedy Space Center, the crew of STS-118 spoke enthusiastically about their 13 days in orbit and work on the International Space Station.

“It was a great experience and the space station is really, I think, a stepping stone to going back to the moon and on to Mars some day,” commander Scott Kelly said.

Teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan said she is still getting used to gravity again, but that spaceflight was a great experience that she hopes more teachers get to share in.

“The flight was absolutely wonderful,” she said. “I felt like I was upside-down the whole first day.”

Canadian astronaut Dave Williams said the thrill never gets dull.

“It’s truly the ride of a lifetime,” Williams said of the launch Aug. 8. “Look over your shoulder and you can see Hurricane Dean.”

The flight delivered a new segment to the International Space Station, along with 5,800 pounds of supplies and equipment.

As far as the ding in a couple of heat shield tiles, Kelly said it did not bother him much.

“I was a little bit underwhelmed by the size of the gouge,” he said. “To see it, it looked rather small.”

The crew is set to depart Florida on Wednesday afternoon and return to Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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