Preflight Interview: Dominic Anthony 'Tony' Antonelli, Pilot
JSC2000-07308: Astronaut Dominic A. (Tony) Antonelli

Astronaut Dominic A. (Tony) Antonelli, STS-119 pilot. Photo Credit: NASA

This is the STS-119 interview with Pilot Dominic Anthony ‘Tony’ Antonelli. Talk to me about the educational and, and professional steps you took to, to get to NASA.

The most important part was staying in school. I went through high school and then was Navy ROTC to pay for college. Got to go up to college in the Northeast at MIT and then, from there into the Navy to pay back the money they spent for my education. I ended up flying airplanes for the Navy, through their flight training program. I was selected to fly jets for the Navy. They sent me off to the Air Force for a year to learn how to test airplanes and then I went back to the Navy and was testing airplanes for the Navy when NASA called and asked me to come down to Houston and fly for them.

Any particular interest and/or hobbies that you had growing up that kind of played into your, your desire to fly in space?

No, nothing directly. I’m not sure there are too many hobbies that directly tie into flying in space, at least not that I know of. Maybe I’d be doing those and something else for a living if there were. I rowed in school. A big part of my education at MIT was what I learned working as a member of a team on the rowing team and then just outdoor stuff in the Navy. I got to live in some OK places in the United States and travel different places. I just like to be outdoors but not sure how that directly relates to wanting to fly in space. I wanted to show up here and work for NASA since I can remember. It's just always something I’ve always wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

Did I read correctly in your bio that you’re a NASCAR fan?

I am a bit of a NASCAR fan. Again I think part of that’s the upbringing in North Carolina. Not that it’s exclusive there now. When I was growing up it wasn’t quite as popular across the country as it is today. Now probably there are NASCAR fans all over the country but it was a little bit smaller when I was growing up.

Have you ever gotten a chance to get behind the wheel of a NAS-, of a stock car?

No I haven’t, but I'm still waiting for my chance. I’ve had a couple of almost opportunities. You know, they have the sign up and drive kind of thing. The price tag for them is still just a little bit out of my price range.

What do you think would be a bigger kick, driving the stock car or the shuttle launch?

Well, I’m still waiting for my, my first shuttle launch and I’m guessing that’s going to be, be the thrill of a lifetime. I do test drive all the rental cars that I get access to about their limits. I think the NASCAR would be, would be pretty good but I don’t think it would quite be what the shuttle launch is going to be like.

Talk about your hometown. What it was like growing up there and how did it influence, what you’ve become and, and what you’ve accomplished.

I moved around a little bit growing up so went to elementary school on the south side of Indianapolis in a suburb town of Greenwood. We ended up moving to North Carolina so I went to junior high and high school in North Carolina, in a kind of middle-sized town. It’s not rural, not big city. Nothing specific about those towns I think is different from growing up anywhere else in the United States. The same kind of values that I think are important in the city and out in the country -- work hard, study hard, do your best at whatever you’re going and put your mind to do.

What or who was it that, that helped you realize the value of education in getting to where you want to go?

That one has a pretty clear answer. That was my mother. When I was growing up and complaining about how things were in our house or our part of the town, it was always, “Hey, you stay in school. You do well in school. You get a good job and then you can, you can have it the way you want it when you grow up.” She was always pushing education.

What was it like when you found out you were going to make your first space flight? Can you tell us where you were and, and what your reaction was?

Of course it was exciting. I was away. The office had sent me over to California. We have a simulator out there in California where we practice landing the shuttle. I was sent there for two weeks to help run the simulator for the two weeks that folks from the office were coming through to train. I’d gotten a voice mail while I was briefing for that simulator to call back to the office. I called and they said, “Hey, you want to fly on the next shuttle flight that’s being assigned?” Of course, that’s still five or six out from, from actual flying so we thought we were about a year out from launch and when we got the call. “Yeah, that’d be great! Who else is on the crew? OK, got to go.” And then, you know, you got about 30 seconds to enjoy it and then you’re right back in the simulator, continuing to work. In those 30 seconds I took a couple of those to say, “Woohoo!” and then called my wife real quick and said, “Hey, we just got assigned and got to go and love you, got to go” and then right back to work. I’ve had a year -- that’s part of our training – for it to sink in a little bit more.

And now that it has sunk in and you’ve had some time to kind of chew on it a little bit and launch is fast approaching. What are your feelings now?

More of the same. It’s exciting; this is what we come here to do. It took a little while getting here and then it took a little while getting assigned, working the way up the ladder to be next, but it's pretty exciting. I'm ready to go.

You mentioned your mom about being a big influence with education. One of the things that NASA likes to do is to inspire the next generation of space explorers. How do you think is the best way for NASA to do that? What would you suggest?

Just sharing what we’re doing. I’ve gotten the opportunity to go through a few schools since I’ve been here and I can tell you that the young folks that I run into at the schools are already excited and inspired and they’re ready to go. You can go into any second grade class and they’ll tell you with a 100 percent certainty, “We’re going to Mars.” For us that are in the business of making it happen, it’s just a matter of getting out of their way, getting done what we can get done and getting out of their way because they’re going. They’re already inspired. From our standpoint, we just have to make it possible -- show them what we’re doing now, show them it’s exciting. Of course, as a second grader you don’t understand exactly all the challenges of making it happen. Hopefully we can solve some of those so that when they’re here doing that job, there’s nothing standing in their way.

What has it been like working with these crewmates, as you’ve trained for this mission? What kind of relationships have developed and, and, and what, what’s stuck out in your mind so far?

I think we’re seven pretty different individuals, but a great crew. I couldn’t be happier. I think that’s probably the most important part of being assigned to a space mission -- who are the other six folks that you’re flying with. I got really lucky and those other six guys are just fantastic and great teammates.

With several Japanese Space Exploration Agency components now on space station, JAXA’s become a full fledged member or participant in ISS. Now your crew will be taking as part of the crew Koichi Wakata up to be the first long- duration ISS crewmember for JAXA. What’s it like to have a hand in making that milestone happen?

First, on a personal note, it’ll be sad to close the hatch and leave Koichi on the other side. He’s been training with us for the year and just a fantastic guy and you feel like you’re leaving part of the team behind when you close those hatches. But big picture, that’s what he’s supposed to be doing. That’s where his work is. I know JAXA will be very excited to have their first long duration crew member up there and doing work for Japan. So it’ll be exciting just to play a small part in that.

Thousands of people work behind the scenes to make space missions happen. How do you feel about their contributions and what’s it been like when you’ve gotten a chance to meet these people?

I’ve watched a few of these interviews and I’ve heard everybody try to explain that we’re just a small part of a big team. I’ve heard different folks try and no matter how they try it just doesn’t seem to convey the whole message. We are a tiny part of a big team. Whenever I get a chance to go meet the folks, I first try to explain to them how important their work is and how much it means to me. Then I explain to them that it even means more to my family, that our business is pretty unforgiving of mistakes. But of course we hire people to do all this work and people make mistakes. I try to explain that we need to have a system that helps us track those mistakes and minimize the consequences from them. But it’s pretty awe inspiring to go and visit all the folks that end up working on the space shuttle and space station programs. It’s a big team and it’s nice getting to be a part of that team. It’s really nice being a member of that team that gets to ride on the rocket. It’s not necessarily so nice to be one of the members of the team that has to sit in front of the camera and do TV interviews. I might trade that part of the job but I wouldn’t trade the rest of it.

You make me think you don’t like me so much.

That’s nothing personal.

Please summarize for us, if you would, the main things you’ll be trying to accomplish on this mission.

Our first couple of tasks are what will define our mission success. That’s delivering Koichi Wakata to the International Space Station. Like we said, JAXA’s counting on us to do that. We need to bring Sandy Magnus back home, trade Koichi out for Sandy. And then we need to deliver the S6 truss, which will be the final segment of the truss in completing the truss structure for the International Space Station.

And as pilot for this mission what are your, your, what’s your main role and responsibility on, on this crew?

JSC2008-E-040713: Tony Antonelli

Astronaut Dominic A. (Tony) Antonelli, STS-119 pilot, uses the virtual reality lab in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center to train for some of his duties aboard the space shuttle and space station. This type of computer interface, paired with virtual reality training hardware and software, helps to prepare the entire team for dealing with space station elements. Photo Credit: NASA

As pilot of 119, I’ll be sitting up front for the launch and the landing and I have systems responsibilities up there. Bru will do most of the flying and it’s my job to monitor the systems to relieve him of that responsibility so he can focus on flying. For the rest of the mission I’m mostly taking care of the spacewalkers. I need to get their breakfast ready for them in the morning. I need to get them dressed up in their spacesuits. Most of the important work will be done outside by those guys. It’s actually really demanding work so when they get back in I’ll try to have dinner ready for them and I’ll get them out of their spacesuits and get their spacesuits cleaned up and ready for them to go on the next mission. In addition to that I have some robotic arm flying. I’ll fly the space shuttle’s robotic arm for part of our inspections and part of the S6 truss, truss work for the installation process.

And I’ll just clarify for everybody: You mentioned Commander Lee Archambault but his nickname ‘Bru’. Invariably everybody will, will refer to him that way. Can you give us your best description of the S6 truss segment and its attached solar arrays and give us an idea of how the station will change in capability and look after it’s installed and its systems are configured?

If anybody’s seen a picture of the International Space Station recently, there are three large solar arrays. As the station flies forward there are two on the left or the port side and one on the right now that we’ve reconfigured, and with installing the S6, this will be basically the fourth large set of solar array wings that’ll go off on the right and when we leave. For the most part, the space station will look like all those artists’ renderings of it that you’ve seen for however many years they’ve been drawing those. We’ll finally be able to take photographs of it looking exactly like those guys were drawing it.

How would you characterize the work that the STS-126 crew did on the starboard side Solar Alpha Rotary Joint and how that’s impacted your mission?

I have been busy training for STS-119 so I haven’t been down deep in the engineering details of their work. I know they’ve replaced a lot of the trundle-bearing assemblies or the bearings that the solar array rotary joint runs on and they’ve also lubricated the race rings. The vibration data that they were experiencing before was much reduced -- basically just what you've read in the paper. I don’t know much more than about that incredible feat. It was something that wasn’t designed into the system. It [the problem] was discovered as we’re building the space station. Engineers on the ground, part of the big team that you mentioned before, worked together to come up with a solution and going and flying 126 and implementing that solution. Time will tell how long it’ll last. We may need to go out and redo their work in 10, 20, 30 years or if we’ll be on to some other fix by then, but it was pretty impressive work. For us, the S6 solar array will be outboard of that starboard rotary joint so for us to get the most bang for the buck, if you will, out of S6. We need that rotary joint to continue to rotate so we can track the sun and produce electricity.

On flight day 1 you’ll launch on board Discovery and then configure and check out systems for your stay in space. Then on, on flight day 2 you’ll do a limited inspection of the shuttle’s exterior. Can you tell us how that’s going to happen, how that inspection’s going to happen?

The inspection has become somewhat standard now, after Return to Flight. We had one mission where we had left the boom, which is the, the long arm with the sensors on it onboard station so one of the missions didn’t do theirs on Flight Day 2 but it’s pretty much been standard. We’ll use the shuttle robotic arm. We’ll grab this boom out of the shuttle’s payload bay. It’s got sensors on the end and we’ll use those sensors to scan the leading edge and the nose area of the space shuttle to make sure we didn’t sustain any damage from ascent.

The next day is the, the first of several very busy days for both the shuttle crew and the crew onboard ISS. Tell us about the activities planned for rendezvous and docking and, highlight what you’ll be doing for those activities.

Bru and I have several burns to do as we get into basically a nominal rendezvous profile depending on what day we launch and the phasing of the space station. So Bru and I will be up front. We’ll run through several burns. Once we get to about a rev behind the space station or about 90 minutes out, Bru will transition to the aft cockpit where he’ll fly the space shuttle. I’ll stay up front basically just monitoring the systems and working through the procedures, kind of quarterbacking the crew through all the procedures that need to be accomplished and basically just relieving Bru of that responsibility so he can focus on flying the space shuttle.

And at some point, is there more, more to it than that? Tell us about some of the maneuvers. You’ll do that?

We’ll do a kind of standard after Return to Flight, we’ll show up 600 feet below the space station. We’ll basically flip the space shuttle Discovery. That’ll give an opportunity for the folks on the space station, Spanky and Sandy, to take pictures of all the tile that’s on our flight day 2 inspection. We’ll look at the leading edge and the nose but we, we won’t look at most of the tile area. We’ll do that with the cameras, with the 400-, 800-mm zoom lenses. They’ll take pictures of our tile as we flip. When we finish the flip from 600 feet then we’ll drive out in front of the space station, probably around 350 feet, again Bru will be doing all of this flying. Bru will fly us in from the front of the space station into docking, from the front, what we call the V-bar or basically the direction the space station’s flying. So we get out in front of them and just slow down until we dock.

Then on flight day 4 the focus turns to S6 and some, some joint robotic work between shuttle and ISS. What’s the plan to get S6 out of Discovery’s payload bay and to the point where it’s going to remain overnight?

The plan is for the station’s arm, or the big arm, to reach into the payload bay and grab S6. We’ll release the locks that are holding S6 in the payload bay. The big arm or the station’s arm will pull S6 out of the payload bay, spin it around. Then we will hand off the S6 to the shuttle’s robotic arm. The big arm, the station’s arm, will reconfigure onto the mobile transporter, basically just a train. We’ll run the train down to the end of the tracks. We need the mobile transporter at the end so that the big arm can reach all the way out to the starboard side to install S6. Once the mobile transporter’s there, we’ll lock it down. We’ll test out the station’s arm, the big arm. Once that’s complete then we’ll take the shuttle arm as far to the station’s starboard side as we can. The station’s arm will reach back, grab the S6 and then move it to basically an overnight park position, someplace we can keep S6 safe from thermal, all the thermal constraints so it doesn’t get too hot or too cold while we’re holding on to it overnight, so it will be ready to install first thing the next morning.

Any good plan has, has contingency or backup plans. What options do you have if, for instance, one of the arms fails during trying to get S6 out of the payload bay and to that point?

For this mission the robotic arms, both of them, are pretty critical. Part of this was due to the change in assembly sequence. Originally we were going to build all the, of the truss, have all four, all of the solar array wings deployed and then bring up Node 2 and the international partners’ modules. We lost Columbia. We had a bunch of changes. One of the changes was rearranging the manifest. Now we have the Japanese modules already on station and so we cannot physically reach with the shuttle’s robotic arm into the payload bay to grab S6 and pull S6 out. That’s why we’re having the station’s arm reach in and pull it out and hand it to us and then we’ll hand it back. The robotic arms have backup modes and so we could lose individual modes of the arms and the station arm has what they call ‘stringing.’ They have two strings pretty much from one end to the other. They can lose any one part of a string and swap to the second string. The shuttle’s robotic arm has, you know, different modes so we could have, we could withstand certain failures. We train to those, and we’ll be able to deliver S6, but both the shuttle arm and the station’s robotic arm are critical for us accomplishing our mission.

The schedule continues the next day with the first spacewalk of the mission which is all about getting S6 into position and eventually installed. Tell us about how that’s going to happen.

We’ll send Swannie and Ricky outside. We’ll get them dressed. John will be flying the station robotic arm with S6 where he left it overnight. He’ll get up early and get it to about a meter and a half away from docking to S5 or mating to S5. Swannie and Ricky will go outside, right out there at the end of S5 and basically talk, guide, John in to docking S6 to S5. Basically John will be flying the robotic arm and Swannie and Ricky will be giving him directions on how to fly in so that S6 mates with S5. Then it comes down to just simple bolting. They both have basically electric drills, course at NASA we call them PGTs and they’ll be up there bolting the thing together.

So S6 gets installed and you, you make the necessary power and data connections. Then you eventually move on to, to other stuff on EVA 1. What else happens on that EVA?

Connecting the power and the data sounds a lot easier than it really is. We have to be sure that S6 is really attached. So Swannie and Ricky will spend a fair amount of time doing that. The only reason we’ve got S6 out there is to deploy the solar array wings. The solar array blankets have to be bolted down, folded up and bolted down, so partly bolted down to withstand the G’s of launch and then also folded up to fit in the shuttle’s payload bay. So it’s a lot of unbolting and undoing, unfolding and deploying. The solar array boxes are folded up and bolted down and the gimbals that the solar array blankets are on are also folded up and bolted down and so there’ll be a lot of unbolting and unfolding. In addition there’s a, a radiator out there. The process of generating the electricity and running those electronics generate heat, so there’s another radiator that’s out there to expel that heat and that also needs to be unbolted and unfolded. It’s a, ends up being a full day’s work.

JSC2008-E-052129: Tony Antonelli

Attired in a training version of his shuttle launch and entry suit, astronaut Tony Antonelli, STS-119 pilot, awaits the start of a training session in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo Credit: NASA

Are there any contingency options, for instance if, if the blanket boxes get stuck or don’t unfold all the way, if something goes wrong during that procedure?

There are, and Swannie and Ricky train those as spacewalkers and Joe will be inside as our IV, our quarterback of the spacewalk part of the mission. They train for all the things we’ve thought of. But, of course, that’s not going to be the contingency we have. We’re going to have something different if we have one at all. So our contingencies are essentially the other three EVAs. If there’s something that Swannie and Ricky can’t solve in real time with the help of Joe and with the help of the team on the ground … The amount of time they can spend outside is limited basically by their consumables. What we expect them to run out of first is the ability to scrub the carbon dioxide out of their suits. When their LiOH cans essentially run out, they’ll need to come back inside. And if we’ve had something go wrong that we weren’t able to solve in real time then as we talked about earlier, we have the big team on the ground. I’ve seen them in action with some of our previous space flight experiences that worked 24/7 and they’re, they’re pretty sharp and they come up with some pretty good solutions so I’m confident if we run into anything that we haven’t thought of so far they’ll come up with an ingenious solution and we’ll spend the second or third EVA working through those.

And there’s always the possibility of, of adding a day or so to the mission to, to get whatever they come up with done.

Exactly. The space shuttle carries up liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to make its electricity and so we only carry up so much of that. Since we’ve been deploying these solar arrays on the space station now -- you know, the space station gets its electricity from the solar arrays -- we’ve rewired the space station so that it can feed power back to the space shuttle and that allows us to keep the space shuttle on orbit for a few extra days.

If mission managers decide they’d like to take a closer look at, at Discovery, you’ll do what’s called a focused inspection. Tell us about how you do that focused inspection.

In the focused inspection again, something we’ve had the capability to do since Return to Flight, is not exactly as standard as the flight day 2 inspection. We’ll only do this focused inspection if we find something on flight day 2 that needs a closer look or from the flip maneuver that we do underneath the space station. We get those pictures back, take a look at those, to see if there’s anything we need to take a closer look at. The capability has existed since Return to Flight and we’ve executed the focused inspection a couple of times. But we don’t know exactly what we’ll need to look at, so the procedures haven’t been developed because we have to know the exact spot we’ll need to go look at. But big picture, the space station arm will reach in and grab the boom that has the sensors on it, because again once we’re docked the shuttle arm can’t reach over and grab the boom because of the other modules that are attached. So the space station arm will grab the boom, hand it to the shuttle arm and then the shuttle arm will swing the boom down below to wherever on the bottom of the orbiter we need a closer look. We’ll use the same sensors that we used for our flight day 2 inspection, same boom and same sensors and we’ll take a closer look. We’ll spend more time on one particular tile or damage site and we’ll send all that data down to the ground. Putting the boom back is the same way. The shuttle arm has to hand the boom back to the station arm and the station arm puts it away.

There’s also the possibility that you will not do a focused inspection on the day it’s currently timelined for. If that scenario happens, what will happen on that day?

Flight day 5 is our EVA 1. We just take these pictures on flight day 3 going back to the big team on the ground. Another part of that big team is the folks that look at those pictures. They’ll look at all the data from our flight day 2 inspection. They’ll look at all those pictures that we send down at the end of flight day 3 after we do this, this flip maneuver. They’ll analyze all these pictures and if they don’t need a focused inspection, if there’s no areas on the orbiter that they’re concerned about, need a closer look at, then they’ll turn us loose. We were going to have that whole flight day 6 to do that inspection and now we’re going to get on with what we’re really trying to accomplish. We’ve installed S6 and now we’re trying to deploy those solar array wings and that’s what we’ll put into Flight Day 6 if our time isn’t needed to do the focused inspection.

Give us an overview, if you would, of, of how the solar array wings will be deployed. What’s the procedure like?

The whole team on orbit and a good bit of the team on the ground will help us get these things out. We’ll have folks driving cameras, making sure that we have good views. We’ll have folks looking out the windows with binoculars. We need to count the bays to make sure we know how far the array has been deployed because we have certain places where we want to stop. We have tension rods and we’ll watch those reels to make sure those reels aren’t unwinding, that the solar array’s under more tension when it’s deploying than we want it to be, i.e., getting ready to indicate that there’s a problem. So we’ll have folks watching those, so it pretty much takes everybody on board. We also have to command the array themselves and we’ll do that commanding from on board. John will be in charge of that and he’ll decide when we’re deploying and when we’re stopping. The ground will be backing us up on the stopping part for sure. Whenever we try to stop a command just in case we have an issue with our computer commanding, they’ll be backing us up on that, as well as they’ll be backing us up on monitoring all the shuttle systems and the station systems so we can focus our attention on deploying the arrays.

This business of deploying solar arrays has been pretty unpredictable in past missions. Are there any updated procedures in place because of past issues that have been encountered?

We continue to learn … . I’m sure we won’t have the same problem that we’ve seen before because we’ve changed the process. We’ll start the night before. The ground does a lot of the prep work. We’re going to deploy them, we’re going to keep them in the sun, to try to bake them out -- deploy them half way, let them bake there for a little bit and deploy them to make sure that the solar panels don’t get stuck together. The S6 arrays are different from the P6, which kind of made solar array deploy a little bit famous. The P6 arrays were retracted on orbit. The S6 has not been retracted on orbit, but it has been in the can for, for quite some time, so we’ll just have to get up there and we’ll take it slow. We’ll just see what we get.

On the second spacewalk of the mission, Steve Swanson and Joe Acaba will tour the truss so to speak at various locations and worksites. Can you tell us where they’ll be going and what they’ll be doing there?

On EVA 1 Ricky and Swannie were all the way out at the starboard end of the truss, Joe and Swannie are going to go to the port end of the truss. P6 was the first solar array or set of wings on the station that’s been up there for quite some time, so we’re going to change the batteries. Our mission isn’t going to change the batteries but it’s coming up probably the mission after ours and so Swannie and Joe are going to do some prep work out there. They’re going to go break the torque on all of those batteries. Again they were torqued down good for launch which was quite some time ago. Now we’re getting ready to replace them, to make sure that we’re not going to have any issues with getting those batteries out. Joe and Swannie are going to do a lot of the prep work on changing the batteries out on P6 later. They’ve got some other tasks throughout the EVA. They’ve continued to change a little bit. We’ll see what we’ll actually end up doing when we get there.

Assuming S6 has been successfully installed and the solar array wings deployed and everything activated, you’ll turn your attention to some other hardware on EVA 3. Tell us about what’s going to happen on EVA 3.

Some of EVA 3 is prep work for follow on missions. We have the CETA carts or the, on the train tracks and we need to get them on the other side of the MT so we’ll move at least one of those. We think we can just move one and still allow the next mission to reach all the way out to P6 to change out those batteries. A few missions ago, we brought the SPDM up. Some of its blankets, its thermal protective blankets, aren’t properly aligned and adjusted so we’ll get out there and adjust those blankets. In addition, on the last mission we talked a lot about lubricating the rotary joints for the solar array wings. One of the other things that was accomplished was they lubricated the snares on the station’s big arm on its end effector which it uses to grab on to the station or grab on to payloads, basically what we’re going to use to grab on to S6. Well, we’re going to take the opportunity with the other end bolted down to the space station, we’re going to lubricate the other end.

And just to, to clarify for everybody -- you used the acronym for SPDM and that’s the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator which is part of the robotic system. I guess they say it’s the hand so you’ll be replacing some, just some thermal covers on that.


What’s the plan for the fourth and final scheduled spacewalk of the mission?

What had been for a little while in our EVA 2. On the fourth spacewalk it will be back to Swannie and Ricky and I think they will primarily be deploying some PAS and UCCAS, basically attachment hardware on the truss, the whole, the big truss, not just S6 that had been folded up for launch to fit in the payload bay. They will be unfolding some of that. It basically allows attachment of hardware for various payloads that we’ll be able to fly up in the future.

After your work on ISS is done, you and your crewmates will pull away from space station to do a fly around. You will get your first big views of space station with the fully built-out truss and all of its solar arrays. How do you think you’ll feel knowing that what you’ve just done in those previous days is going to allow space station to do more for more people and reach its full capability?

I’ll be very excited. First, because I’ll get to get my first crack at flying the space shuttle which is kind of what I’m in the business to do. So I’m really looking forward to the undocking and separation and the whole fly around, getting to take pictures of the space station back to symmetric. Bru and Swannie made it symmetric on their previous space shuttle mission when they brought up S3-S4 and then other crews have unbalanced it, so we’ll put it back and get pictures now for the first time looking like how the artists have been drawing it for so many years. As far as the extra capability and getting on with what we’re designing and building the space station for -- I talked about before, you go into any second grade class and they know without a doubt that we’re going to Mars. For those of us that are actually in the business, we have to get bogged down with a lot more of the details. I think, from where I sit, there’s a lot, a lot we don’t know. We certainly can figure it out if we put our minds to it and put forth the right amount of effort. Some of that we need to do we can do on the ground and some of it we can’t. We just have to go up there and work hard up there in space to be able to solve the problems, in some cases to uncover the problems and then work hard to solve them. I’m excited to get to play some small part in that and, hopefully we’ll get on with it so when those second graders are sitting in this chair, there won’t be anything standing in their way. You’ll be interviewing them about their trip to Mars.