It's really a good feeling to know that we put this up there, that it's working, that all these people's plans that worked so hard came together and things fit and we've got a real space station.
Our shuttle crew is four people, because we're going to transfer a crew up to station, so all the jobs are divided between four people rather than five or six people. So it's been busy.
We're on the same radius from the Earth, and then we start to swing around to where we're ahead of them on the velocity vector, so we come in relative to the station from this forward velocity position and dock on to the forward end of the Lab.
Although I know a lot of the previous shuttle flights, in theory, had their tasks laid out; but there were still some changes that came along for them.
There's a lot of interest from the medical community on how things develop in microgravity, and the hope, later, that is expected to apply to what the changes are in humans as well.
As always, we prepare for all sorts of contingencies. And the first few days of the flight up until docking on Day 3 are all spent really in the rendezvous because we launch at a time that puts us in an optimal position to catch up to station.
It's really kind of a challenge to keep coordinated with the two station crews that we'll be interacting with. And of course one of them launched quite some time before our mission.
UF is Utilization Flight. That got put in the manifest quite some time ago.
It's very important to know that we packed it right because it is a safety issue for coming home.
We're taking up some science experiments, some crystal growth things, we have a refrigerator that carries up some samples, new samples that go into the station, we bring the old ones home; we have a lot of clothing, we have a lot of food-U.S. and Russian food.
It is a very busy mission: every day has some major goals that we have to get through, but my experience before has been that at least in the evening, you kind of take a deep breath and look around where you are and have some downtime.
It definitely helps to have been through the arm training flow before and to have used the arm on orbit, and it also gives me the confidence to know that our training facilities are really good, that when you get up there, you feel like you've been there.
I did grow up with a really big interest in math and science; I liked it.
The training comes to us with the benefit of what has gone before.