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Crew Excited About Endeavour's Success


*Crew Excited About Endeavour's Success*

Image above: At the NASA television studio, the STS-118 crew members 
participate in a post-landing news conference.
Image credit: NASA/George Shelton. + View Larger Version 

A few hours after landing back at Kennedy Space Center, the crew of 
STS-118 spoke enthusiastically about their 13 days in orbit and work on 
the International Space Station.

"It was a great experience and the space station is really, I think, a 
stepping stone to going back to the moon and on to Mars some day," 
commander Scott Kelly said.

Teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan said she is still getting used 
to gravity again, but that spaceflight was a great experience that she 
hopes more teachers get to share in.

"The flight was absolutely wonderful," she said. "I felt like I was 
upside-down the whole first day."

Canadian astronaut Dave Williams said the thrill never gets dull.

"It's truly the ride of a lifetime," Williams said of the launch Aug. 8. 
"Look over your shoulder and you can see Hurricane Dean."

The flight delivered a new segment to the International Space Station, 
along with 5,800 pounds of supplies and equipment.

As far as the ding in a couple of heat shield tiles, Kelly said it did 
not bother him much.

"I was a little bit underwhelmed by the size of the gouge," he said. "To 
see it, it looked rather small."

The crew is set to depart Florida on Wednesday afternoon and return to 
Johnson Space Center in Houston.

*Photos of Tile Damage*
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Damage 
+ View Hi-Res Image of Tile Taken in Space 
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