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Ask the Crew: STS-109

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPAGE: 1 2 3
Question #21 Scott Altman's Reply

From: Tiffany Hemke, Tremont, Ill., Age: 30
To: Commander Scott Altman

Question: Tremont is actually a town very near to my hometown of Pekin, Illinois, so I appreciate that the folks back home in central Illinois are keeping track of the mission. It's always great to hear from them.

Tiffany's question is:

What a show it was for the launch of STS-109 on March 1! I'm sure it was even better from your seat! I am wondering which ride gets your heart pumping more, the blastoff and trip to orbit, or the re-entry and subsequent glide to landing?

Altman: That's a really tough question to answer actually. The ascent ride is just an adrenaline rush for 8 ½ minutes all the way up. On entry, your coming back, getting used to gravity again, realizing how easy you've had it for the last 12 days and then having the gravity g build up. But it's a real thrill to finally put my hands on the stick and actually fly this orbiter into a landing. And your right, we're gliding in--no engines to power us--so the first landing better be good.

Image: STS-109 Commander Scott Altman
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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 05/11/2006
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