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  11/8: STS-120 crew homecoming

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Author Topic:   11/8: STS-120 crew homecoming
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-06-2007 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As sent to Johnson Space Center employees:
quote:
Along with Center Director Mike Coats, family, friends, colleagues and public guests are encouraged to wish the Discovery crew well as they return from a successful mission in space. Come out Thursday, Nov. 8, to Ellington Field's Hangar 276 for a "welcome home" event beginning no earlier than 3 p.m. to honor the STS-120 crew: Commander Pam Melroy, Pilot George Zamka, and Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Doug Wheelock, Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency and Clayton Anderson, Expedition 15/16 flight engineer. Gates to Ellington Field will open at 2:30 p.m.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-08-2007 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As some may have noted in the news, Air Force One landed at Ellington Field just a few minutes ago, bringing President George W. Bush to Houston.

The President's schedule while in Texas includes attending Houston and San Antonio fundraisers for Senator John Cornyn, who is seeking reelection in 2008. According to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, Bush will also visit the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

President Bush will not however, attend the STS-120 crew's homecoming at Ellington Field, scheduled for later this afternoon. According to NASA, Bush may meet with the astronauts privately, but will have left the area by the time the celebration in Hangar 276 begins.

fabfivefreddy
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posted 11-08-2007 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have there ever been any photos of President Bush with any astronauts?

Tahir

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-08-2007 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is customary that crews on their return to Earth visit the White House. For example: Of course, some crews return later than others...

kimmern123
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posted 11-08-2007 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-98 crew was the first crew to meet with President Bush. Tom Jones writes about it in his book "Sky Walking". The astronauts were told to meet in blue flight suits, even though they argued more formal clothes were more appropriate for such an event. The message from HQ, however, was that all astronauts attend wearing their blue flightsuits. The astronauts were reprimanded by some White House staff that flighsuits were not appropriate attire when meeting the President of the United States.

fabfivefreddy
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posted 11-08-2007 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks (Robert) for that info!

Tahir

Grungy
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posted 11-08-2007 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grungy   Click Here to Email Grungy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Houston Chronicle (the only paper in town!) online at chron.com currently has a picture of W shaking hands with Clayton Anderson.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-08-2007 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll have an article with photographs from the crew return later tonight, but here is a NASA photo of STS-120 commander Pam Melroy with President Bush:

Another photo has been posted to NASA's website.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-08-2007 11:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like Clay is wearing some sort of a Holter medical data monitor on his back. Interesting. Thanks for the link to that pick.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-09-2007 03:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronauts celebrated for 'terrific mission'
quote:
Just a day after landing from their 15-day flight aboard space shuttle Discovery, the crew of STS-120 returned home to Houston on Thursday, where they were met by their NASA coworkers, family, friends, fans and the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
Here are a few more excerpts from the crew's comments that didn't make it into the above article...

Pilot George Zamka:

quote:
I am in the Marine Corps, and a number of years ago I was on-board an amphibious ship and we were going to go out on a night raid and I was on a stairwell going on up to a steel door that led to the outside. If you are at all familiar with Navy ships, you know those doors, they are very heavy, they are water-tight doors that probably weigh about 200 pounds off their hinges. I put my hand in the doorway to help myself up and I had to pull up another Marine behind me because he had a lot of equipment. I heard a very loud clang and when I looked into the door, I saw that door had been slammed shut by the wind and my hand had disappeared into that door. So I was looking at this door and this rail and like part of my hand and the rest of it was kind of sticking out into it. I didn't know what was wrong with it, but at the time it was kind of a surreal moment. It looked very strange, kind of terrifying but kind of interesting. It didn't hurt at the time but it was definitely a moment of concern. Well you think, 'Boy, what's this guy telling us this for? Where's he going?'. Well the reason I tell you about that moment is that I had not felt that feeling until last week when I looked out Window 1 of Discovery, after I heard Pambo call the abort on the array deploy for array number 4B. The sun finally backed away from it and I saw a tear in that array that looked just completely surreal, terrifying. I didn't know what to do next. It was the very next time I had that feeling.

In the following 72 hours, I wouldn't have imagined I would be looking out that same window and seeing my heroes Doug on the end of the canister mast, Doug Wheelock, and Scott Parazynski on the very very end of the robotic arm and the boom, leaning out over this very same array where this tear was, repairing that array. That was an awesome sight and I don't think a camera view would do it justice and I don't think my words do it justice either.


Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson:
quote:
One of the questions that I am asked often is 'So, what is it like the second time?'. I have to say that it is just as magical as the first. The view is spectacular, the experience is awesome.
ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli
quote:
It was really a good feeling [going] up there, being in microgravity, floating around, those sort of things. It's not so good when you come back and somebody turns on the gravity switch again. It's kind of bad. Maybe I was a Martian in a previous life or something like that.
ISS 15/16 flight engineer Clay Anderson
quote:
For those of you who are standing through this whole thing, hang in there. I would stand up but the room would start to spin in a very rapid fashion and I would probably crash to the floor. For those who remain sitting through this whole thing, I haven't used my bottom in over five months and it's killing me.

...

I went up on June the 8th on STS-117 and six computers on the Russian segment quickly ground to a halt. Then the 118 crew came and someone's glove got punctured on an EVA, followed by a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that was cruising toward the coast of Houston, so they all left early. And then of course, 120 arrives and a solar array rips and causes all sorts of problems. So I am pretty sure most everyone in this room is really glad to see me back on the ground.

...

But you know, when I graduated from college, I wanted to work at one place. I wanted to work at NASA, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. And in January of this next year, I'll start my 25th year at this wonderful institution. And throughout those 24 and some odd years, I have worked with some of the most wonderful people on the planet Earth, from all countries and all parts of the world.


space4u
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posted 11-09-2007 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the terrific report and photos Robert. It sounds like this crew really meshed well!
--Marcy

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-09-2007 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From The White House:

quote:
President George W. Bush greets the Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts outside Air Force One, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007, on the tarmac at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. President Bush congratulated Space Shuttle Commander Pamela Melroy, left, and fellow astronauts, from left, Pilot George Zamka and mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Douglas Wheelock, Paolo Nespoli and Clayton Anderson, not seen in photo, on their successful 15-day mission to the International Space Station. White House photo by Eric Draper

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-16-2007 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fabfivefreddy:
Have there ever been any photos of President Bush with any astronauts?
On Wednesday, President Bush met with the crews of STS-116, STS-117 and STS-118 at the White House.

All times are CT (US)

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