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Well, right now we're so busy that I kind of had to put all the hobbies on hold. But I like going camping with my kids. I have two daughters; they're 7 and 10 years old.
It's important to bring things back from the Space Station because, unlike somebody living at the house where the garbage truck comes by twice a week, they don't have that in space.
The first two missions have some test objectives, some new capabilities that we're going to try to develop on orbit to possibly be used on later flights.
We're doing a lot of inspection on the leading edge of our wing on 114 and 121, the first two flights.
Having the benefit to our society, not only here in the United States but throughout the world with the amount of invention you get from having a space program, is well worth the risk that an individual like myself has to take by flying in the vehicle.
There's a lot of interest there in the missions that I fly on and the ones my brother's involved with.
Three of us will help the other two get suited up, get them in the hatch, and get them out the door.
After the loss of Columbia a couple of years ago, I think we were reminded of the risk. All of us, though, have always known that the Space Shuttle is a very risky vehicle, much more risky than even flying airplanes in combat.
Later, after flying in the Navy for four or five years, spending some time on an aircraft carrier, I applied to and was accepted in a program where I went to graduate school first and then to the Naval Test Pilots School.
There are a lot of dedicated people out there that don't get the recognition that we get, but they're as important as the people that are sitting in the vehicle.
Well, I have an undergraduate degree, a couple of bachelor's degrees, from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
A trip to space is a big motivator to give up some things in your personal life. Obviously, you can't give up everything and you don't want to.
He's working a lot harder than I am. I tell these people that we really appreciate what they're doing for us.
I think we've done that. But it's not something you really notice, 'cause I've always thought the people here have always done their best, and they continue to do their best. They just might do it a little bit differently.
I'll be helping them getting suited up, getting them in the airlock, getting the airlock prepared, and getting them out the hatch, and then talking them through these three spacewalks.
My family deals with those risks. The best I can do is talk to them about some of those risks. I'm not incredibly specific with them, especially with my kids.
I personally believe this Agency has always been very dedicated and has always worked as hard as it possibly can to do things as safely and as effectively as possible.
There's been a lot of discussion about NASA culture and changing that. I think our culture has always been one of trying to do a very difficult job and do it well.
You look at it as a privilege. So you really decide that you're going to put the time in and work really hard to get to the point where you're ready.
I think I was very interested in the space program as a kid, watching the first Apollo missions to the moon, and it's something I thought that would be a lot of, of fun and exciting and a very worthwhile job.
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