A press briefing was held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the returning STS-123 mission crew Thursday afternoon.
Endeavour Commander Dominic Gorie talked about the storybook ending to an awesome mission and thanked his crew for the difficult work they accomplished.
“We’ve had one of the most remarkable missions I could have ever imagined,” says Gorie.
“The weather last night wouldn’t quite cooperate on the first opportunity, but I think it was destiny because we had trained for a night landing, and that’s what we were going to do.”
Gorie said the five spacewalks were an ambitious achievement and again praised his crew for their hard work.
Pilot Gregory H. Johnson was asked about his best memory of the mission and he says, “The thing that jumps out to me is the launch.”
“After almost 10 years of training … I could have never imaged how it was going to be until we actually did it.” This was Johnson’s first spaceflight.
Mission Specialist Robert Behnken, also made his first flight into space on Endeavour. “The EVAs … I got to translate quite a bit around the space station,” says Behnken. “I got to climb on the Columbus module to install an experiment on the end of it.”
“The views I was able to see looking down into the shuttle, looking down on the Earth, was just remarkable for me.”
After 16 days in space and 250 orbits of the Earth, space shuttle Endeavour touched down at 8:39 p.m. EDT Wednesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
With the STS-123 mission concluded, the crew of Endeavour flew back to Houston for a homecoming celebration at Ellington Field and reunion with their family and friends.
The next mission, STS-124, is slated to launch in May.