|Steve Robinson: First Podcaster From Space||
One day before landing, STS-114 Mission Specialist Steve Robinson transmitted the first podcast from space.
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Image to right: Podcaster and Mission Specialist Steve Robinson aboard the International Space Station prior to Shuttle undocking.
Hello, this is Mission Specialist Number 2 Steve Robinson from the Space Shuttle Discovery. We're high in orbit on our last day of orbit. Tomorrow we come home. I'm currently talking to you just off the southeast tip of Indonesia in the daylight and moving on towards night. It's been a fantastic mission up here, absolutely amazing. Some of the hardest work that any of us have ever done. We haven't had a whole lot of sleep, and we've been extremely busy and really happy.
The mission has been a test flight. We've tried lots of new things on this mission, from inspecting the Space Shuttle in space using all kinds of robot arms and sensors, to doing experimental spacewalks, which have also gone very, very well, and it's been very gratifying to learn so much about our orbiter.
We've had some surprises. We sure didn't expect that big piece of foam to come off of the tank. Fortunately it missed us. We didn't expect to go outside and get to remove gap fillers from the belly of the orbiter. That was, I would have to say, the most fantastic experience of my life. Just incredible to be way out there on the end of that arm all by myself and see no evidence of humans anywhere. Just me and the Space Station and the Space Shuttle from a view that neither I nor anybody else has ever seen, and watch the sun come up over the bottom of the Space Shuttle, and get to sort of drink in that big view. I'll never forget it, and I'll never be able to describe it adequately, I'm sure. But I feel very fortunate to have been able to get a chance to do that. And also very glad that it worked!
We were able to do, we were ready to do more than just pull on the gap fillers. We were ready to actually cut it out if we had to. We were going to get those gap fillers out no matter what! Turns out to be, have been a very easy job.
The rest of the crewmembers, the rest of the crewmembers -- Eileen and Jim and Soichi and Andy and Wendy and Charlie -- we've had a really good time together. You know, we've trained together for a long time, several years. And we really enjoy each other's company. And it's a really rare thing to be with this, a group of people who are as diverse as we are. Everybody with different and complementary talents and all with a really great sense of humor. So we've laughed a lot, we've worked really hard, and we've learned a lot from each other. It's been really a fantastic experience.
Now it's time to go home. I think some people are ready to go home -- I know I'm not. I would rather stay on the Space Station with Sergei and John and experience this strange, incredible life floating in Earth, above the Earth.
At any rate, I will close ... At any rate I will close this very brief first podcast from space with a greeting to all Earthings and a thank you for your interest and support. Whether you support the space program or not, you're learning from it. You're learning from it the very moment you hear this and think about what we're doing. And I think that learning is what looking over the horizon is all about, and don't forget that learning can be exciting and fun, too, because that's certainly what this mission has been all about.
So signing off from the Space Shuttle Discovery, this is Steve Robinson, and hope to talk to you soon.