Friday, July 31, 2009

Crew Departs Shuttle after "Fantastic Mission"

Hailing the newly concluded flight of space shuttle Endeavour as a "fantastic mission", the crew departed the orbiter and made a few comments after the traditional walk around of their craft.

"It's a great day to be here at the Kennedy Space Center!" mission commander Mark Polansky shouted out to those on runway 15 as the entire crew stood near the resting orbiter.

"What a fantastic mission!", Polansky continued to say. "What can we say but thanks to everybody at the Kennedy Space Center for working so hard on Endeavour. It's a beautiful vehicle and we enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully we brought it back in good shape."

Six of the seven members of the crew of Endeavour - Commander Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Julie Payette (Canada), Christopher Cassidy, David Wolf, Tom Mashburn - were able to get out and make the walk around inspection one hour after landing.

Only returning space station astronaut Koichi Wakata of the Japanese Space Agency stayed in a special chair in the astronaut transporter as he readapts to gravity following over four months in space.

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