Quotes from the news wire:
I ’d like for the legacy of this flight to be that we can decide to do hard things and hard things that will take us further away from the Earth and this is one of them, i ’m hopeful and I think we will learn a lot about longer duration space flight and how that will take us to Mars someday. So, I would like to think this is another of many stepping stones to us landing on Mars some time in our future.
We checked them to make sure that they were still going to protect us if we needed to use them, we have some kind of on-orbit training that covers the descent procedures, so we're fresh with those. We talked to the specialists on the ground about all operations from the time we close the hatch until the time we get pulled out of the Soyuz. So, it's a pretty busy time. It's important, clearly, when you're coming back from space that we get everything right.
I'm looking down at the Earth right now and it's 250 miles below me, and only a small portion of that is the atmosphere, and when that Soyuz hits that atmosphere going 17,500 miles an hour, a lot of things have to happen just right to make sure we touch down and parachute safely. So when you look at that big space between us and the speed involved, it's pretty serious. And it's something that you definitely think about and consider. But it's my second time flying the Soyuz, my fourth time flying in space. It's something I signed up to do, and we'll be ready for it next Tuesday.
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