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[i]The time you must deal with the fear of the job is not when you first are selected to become an astronaut. There’s an exhilaration that lasts for many months. It’s not even the first time you get assigned to a mission, nor is it leading up to your first flight. It’s really the night before your first launch attempt, when your head hits the pillow and you recognize that you’ve run out of time to get any smarter and it’s too late to quit. The biggest challenge I think an astronaut has is not fear of death. It’s fear of making a mistake. I was able to go to sleep peacefully that night, thinking, “If the worst happens and bad stuff starts happening, I’m going to spend my last nanosecond on this planet trying to help save the crew and the vehicle. If I fail, well, then I’ve died doing the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do since I was ten years old.”[/i]
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