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"A few words," began ISS Expedition 16 commander Peggy Whitson, "first off, I would like to acknowledge that this is Sally Davis' last shift and earlier in the week I acknowledged that she had 400 shifts, more than 400 shifts, which is more than any other ISS flight director. And so, we're not only very pleased and happy to have her as the lead for this particular mission, but also for all those other shifts she has pulled over the years. Unfortunately for us, I guess, she's leaving but only going a short distance and going to work in the shuttle office and so we're happy to have her expertise around although we will definitely miss her in the flight control room.
"And Steve wanted to say a few words," she said while passing the headset to STS-122 commander Steve Frick.
"We were lucky enough to have Sally as our lead station flight director. We were privileged to have her as our lead. She did a tremendous job for the crew making sure that we had everything we need to train properly, to see that the procedures were in place and that we dealt with anything that came up during the preparations for flight and during the execution of the flight. So, the success that we've been able to have and the fact that Columbus is over here, successfully activated and outfitted and virtually ready for science is I think due to Sally. So, we really really appreciated her efforts and it was a pleasure and treat to train and fly with her."
Whitson continued, introducing what flight controllers had labeled in the execute package as transfer items 809 and 810.
"And also on this mission were some important transfer and return items. They were listed and we were asked if it was okay to have Dan Tani for Leo Eyharts. So today we are transferring the reigns of the flight engineer from Dan to Leo. And Dan has done a phenomenal job over the last several months. He was here a few months more than he had originally planned on but he's really made up for it and has done an incredible job while he was here. And Leo, we are looking forward to his expertise in the Columbus module and a very busy next month or two coming up for him. So, Leo looking forward to the future and we really have appreciated Dan so much in the past."
"I just had a few things I wanted to say," said ISS flight engineer-turned-STS-122 crew member Dan Tani. "Today I feel very optimistic about our program and about our world and about everything. It's a great day for me. And I just wanted to share two thoughts: one was a few days ago, during the EVA, I grabbed the high def camera and I thought I'd shoot from end to end, since I had a little bit of a break. So I went up to the flight deck and there was Dex running the EVA with Rex and Hans outside doing the EVA, you could see them out the window. Incredibly cool. Came back through the middeck, came into the Node 2, looked over and there's Leo working in the Columbus module. And then I go, I pass a robotic workstation and there's Leland and Stan running the arm. And then I pass through the Node 1 and Peggy is working out on the exercise equipment. And I go to the SM and Yuri's doing a science experiment.
"So, we were doing robotics, PA, exercise and science, all at the same time -- and I was goofing off taking the movies. But we were doing all of those at the same time, in space, which is exactly like those movies they used to show you about 25 years ago about how we were going to live in space. It was almost like a promotional video and it was phenomenal. And I thought, 'We're almost there.' We're doing science, we're building huge construction projects, we're doing EVAs -- I'm not going to say routinely but we've done, I don't know, a dozen or so in the last year, it's just amazing.
"So I feel very up about our future as a space program and as a society because while I was here, I spent time with a man from France, and from Italy, and from Germany, and from Russia. Nations that had not always been friendly are now cooperating and we're doing great things. That was the first thing I was thinking about today.
"The other thing I was thinking about was women. It has been a very big topic on this flight because when I flew up, there were two women commanders and for whatever reason, that was huge news. And the unspoken news there is that they were both fantastically great commanders and it was a privilege to fly with both of them. The other thing I was thinking about today was my mother... (chokes up) ...my inspiration. And of course, my job is easy compared to my wife's. Jane is the love of my life and she had the hard work while I was having fun. So I can't wait to get back to Earth and my two little girls.
"So, if we were toasting, if we were in Russia, this would be the third toast. The toast for the women in our lives. I've enjoyed all my time here and I can't wait to get back to share all my pictures and videos. Thanks so much for all your help on the ground and really, we couldn't have done it without you. We're doing magnificent things up here and it's not us, we're just the tip. It is the solid foundation that everybody on the ground provides for us that makes us look good. Thanks very much," Tani concluded.
"I'd like to say that Dan is a great guy," said Leo Eyharts. "I've been very impressed by the experience he acquired here in the space station. It was really a pleasure and honor to receive the handover from him. I hope that in a few weeks, we'll be able to do 1/100th of what he is able to do today in all aspects, also from a human standpoint. So I am looking forward to being part of Expedition 16."
"And for the shuttle crew of Atlantis and STS-122, it was our privilege to bring Leo up to his new home, until he gets his chance to work more in the Columbus module and finally go home to his wife Dominique and his family," said Frick. "And it's very much our privilege to bring Dan home after such a long stay up here and so much hard work. We're looking forward to a very short rest of the flight and a successful landing at Kennedy Space Center. It has been an amazing flight for us. It has been my second visit to the space station. Along with Rex, we were here a number of years ago. It is an amazing place, it is vastly different than when we were up here -- much, much larger, much more capability. We were very privileged to be able to bring the European Columbus laboratory and we're incredibly excited to see right on our left over there, with the lights on and ready for action. So Peggy, thanks very much for being our host. We raced as hard as we could to try to keep up with you and now we need to go take a rest."
"Alright guys, it has been great having you up here," responded Whitson.
"Hey guys, this is Sally, thanks for the words," radioed outgoing flight director Sally Davis. "It is great to see so many capcoms turn into a great flown crew."
"Thanks very much Sally, we look forward to seeing you in just a few days back in Houston," Frick replied, concluding the farewell.
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