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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crew Excited About Endeavour's Success

A couple 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."

Photos of Tile Damage
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Damage
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Taken in Space

Mission Information
+ STS-118 Mission Overview
+ STS-118 Fact Sheet (900 Kb PDF)
+ STS-118 NASA TV Schedule

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