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We were just getting ready to say goodbye to our friends but before we do that I wanted to first hand over our flight engineers.
Expedition 16 has had a number of flight engineers, I've already called Garrett 'Clay' once, and I'm sure I'll be messing up some more, but we've really had the privilege of having some great flight engineers and Yuri and I have seen a lot of nice faces and a lot of different personalities, which has also been a lot of fun for us to watch.
But I wanted to especially thank Leo for being here at a special time when we inaugurated the Columbus module and especially thank him all the work he did inside the Columbus module. I think the ground team is just as proud of him as I am really glad he was here during this stay.
And I'm really looking forward to all the laughs I'm going to have with Garrett cause he is just a lot of fun and I think its going to be a great time the next few weeks we have together before Yuri and I bail on him and I wanted to give these guys a chance to say a few words.
Thanks a lot Peggy. It's hard for me to believe it is already finished. I still like Dan [Tani] is here right beside me and saying 'bye'.
It has been a great flight. It was with a great team, a great crew. I would, of course, like to thank all that have made that flight possible, I mean bringing the station up to what it is now, bringing the Columbus here and activating him and making it a scientific laboratory.
This was a great time. It has not been boring at all. I remember when on the station there were two people on-board, during six months it was probably boring but that was not the case for me. There were traffic jams all the time during my stay here. I'm really glad to have been able to do these things and have such a great team.
Of course, I would like to wish all the best to Garrett. I know he has a lot of things coming on his plate. He will do well. I would like to thank Peggy and Yuri and the 122 and 123 crews for their tremendous help and for their friendship, too.
Thanks Leo, I have to tell you it's a little intimidating taking over and replacing Leo because Leo is a general in the French air force and I never even made it through Weebelows let alone getting onto to Boy Scouts. So I feel a little mismatched but I will do my best.
I wanted to thank Leo for leaving us in such great shape especially all the hard work and long hours you put in to Columbus. You did a fantastic job getting Columbus activated and checked out and we're all going to benefit from that, so thank you very much. I appreciate that.
And then finally, I just want to say that I already feel the nostalgia coming on about the STS-123 crew. It was really fantastic being a part of this crew. It is a crew that excels not only professionally, a professional level, but also in a human level. And I mean that with all sincerity in the sense that it has just been a wonderful chapter in my life to be part of all that. And I want to say thank you to all of you guys. I really am going to miss all of you... except for you Rick! (laughs) and I look forward to seeing you. Have a great landing... don't forget the gear! (pointing at pilot Greg Johnson) and I look forward to seeing you all back home in a couple of months.
Thanks Garrett. We launched with seven good friends and we're leaving with ten. So, I appreciate that Peggy, your all's friendship and assistance has just been incredible.
If this mission is considered a success when we're done, it's only because of the help you gave us. Getting through those five EVAs was pretty scary hurdles to overcome and you guys made it easy for us, so we sure appreciate that. We had a great time here, looking forward to a wonderful trip home.
It's sort of a strange feeling to want to see your families but not want to leave such a wonderful place and you made it that way, so thank you very much.
And we had a great time with you guys. It's a lot of fun spending time with people that you can laugh and joke with and we did a little of that as well as getting a lot of work done. So, thanks.
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