What everyone in the astronaut corps shares in common is not gender or ethnic background, but motivation, perseverance, and desire - the desire to participate in a voyage of discovery.
I tell students that the opportunities I had were a result of having a good educational background. Education is what allows you to stand out.
I'm not trying to make every kid an astronaut, but I want kids to think about a career and the preparation they'll need.
Congratulations. You've just added a new part of the station.
This was the last astronaut job that was not (yet) done by a woman. Now with this milestone we can focus on the fact that what is important to succeed in life, it does not matter whether you are a man or a woman.
It was just very peaceful.
Being an astronaut is a wonderful career. I feel very privileged. But what I really hope for young people is that they find a career they're passionate about, something that's challenging and worthwhile.
I think of it as a good opportunity to let, in particular, school kids know that this job and other interesting jobs in science and engineering are open to anyone who works hard in school and gets a good education and studies math and science. And that it's not just for a select group of people.
We are constantly emphasizing to people that they need to address anything that affects flight safety or mission success - many pathways to do that. We need to understand better what may be preventing people from using those pathways.
A hallmark of the Latino community is to help one another, if students are interested in a way to give back and help their communities, becoming a teacher is probably one of the very best ways of doing that.
I don't recall any interest in science in particular. It came later in college.
Usually, girls weren't encouraged to go to college and major in math and science. My high school calculus teacher, Ms. Paz Jensen, made math appealing and motivated me to continue studying it in college.
It's fun to work the robotic arm in part because it's really a team effort.
There was a lot of light and a lot of rumbling and vibration, especially the first minute or minute-and-a-half. And then after about two minutes, when the solid rocket boosters separated, the ride got a lot smoother.
We are involved in technology development for, you know, missions that we hope to plan that would take us to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.