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[i]We docked module JEM, the biggest module on the station and these guys performed wonderful EVAs. My crew is proud to be a participant and owner and holder of this station. We are glad to work with you guys. Thank you for these great ten days.[/i]
-- [b]Sergei Volkov[/b], ISS commander
[i]It was great to arrive 10 days ago and it was a really exciting mission. We appreciate all the help we got from the crew of Expedition 17. It was really a joint effort with Sergei, Oleg, Garrett and Taz [Greg]. We appreciate everything. Now is the time to close the hatches shortly and bring Garrett home and leave Greg behind.[/i]
-- [b]Mark Kelly[/b], STS-124 commander
[i]I can hardly believe this time has come. It has been an amazing adventure. I think all of us are very excited about the work we have done.
It is amazing how the station has changed in this time. You know, with 10 people up here going all over the place and doing this work and the thousands of others on the ground making it all possible, it is amazing to see what we can do.
Mark, I wanted to say that, you know, a lot of us were rookies before this flight. It has been a real honor and a real privilege to be part of the shuttle crew. Mark has not only made sure that this mission was very successful but he's also somehow guided us rookies through everything an got us to this point. He's been a great mentor to all of us. That goes for Mike, too.
Mike is the other flown person here before the shuttle launched and his guidance and his friendship has been really valuable to all of us. Thank you, Mike. It was really great when we arrived after the beginning of this amazing adventure, it was just amazing to be greeted by great friends that we already knew at the hatch. That was really, really amazing.
Garrett has been a great host for us, he has really helped us with everything and especially me, teaching me the ins and outs of everything on the station. I really appreciated that very much. Garrett has done an amazing job of taking care of this side of the space station, along with Sergei and Oleg, everything is in really great shape and he has done a really great job for NASA and for all the international partners.
It is really sad to see you guys go for me. But I am looking forward to the adventure ahead with Sergei and Oleg, getting the JEM up and running and getting the science program started and renewing the science on the U.S. module and in the Columbus. So, looking forward to that very much.[/i]
-- [b]Greg Chamitoff[/b], ISS Flight Engineer
[i]Thanks Greg... one day this will all be yours and that day is now. It is a huge responsibility. I mean, taking care of this tremendous national asset and the international assets of our international partners. And if that ever feels like a huge burden, just remember this advice I have for you, which is, with great responsibility, also comes great power. (laughs) So that's nice. (laughs)
But you are going to do a fantastic job, you've took to it from a running start, you've been doing absolutely fantastic and you have some great crew mates to help you out, too. So you're going to do great.
For me this is a very satisfying moment right now, one I was looking forward to for a long time because we've managed to get to this point, through STS-123, Expedition 16, Expedition 17 and now STS-124, by far it was not a perfect performance by myself but I managed not, by any means, but I managed not to break anything really expensive. And I am leaving now with the station in good hands and with a tremendous feeling of satisfaction.[/i]
-- [b]Garrett Reisman[/b], returning STS-124 crew member
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