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-- 250 miles above the planet earth right now the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis the International Space Station getting kind of to know each other.
The station just opened up -- -- a few moments ago well we -- welcoming the Atlantis crew of the shuttle is bringing some very needed supplies to the orbiting outpost.
And we'll also bring space station resident Nicole stocks home.
Was only a couple of hours ago the shuttle completed its routine.
Back -- you know -- flips over.
Giving astronauts the chance to kind of closely inspect the shuttle's belly to make sure there's no significant damage to the all important heat shield after Monday's launch.
With us now is former NASA astronaut Tom -- -- -- Fox News contributor also the author of -- walking -- on the phone with -- former NASA astronaut.
You genes are and -- great I mean you know you get to knowledge that you open hatch -- dot gets to come home it's like to be out there kind of opening the hatch walking floating in space.
Well traced the way I -- it is just walking from something very antiseptic like a doctor's examination room that's what the -- life.
As you flowed into the space station it's like you're walking -- the -- of a -- a cozy home.
-- -- some of your friends are very different atmosphere aboard the space station and it's really a relief to conduct a normal living environment that spacious.
Sequence of laboratories and living spaces -- Yeah it's amazing you know you talk about that belly flip top that's very important you know lately in the wake of recent trips that's just it's a crucial part of this mission to got to get a look at the underside.
Of the station talk about that with us for them.
-- the space station crew has digital cameras were long telephoto lenses and looking down through the earth facing windows on the station.
They give us space shuttle's heat shield the very thorough going over that transmit those -- -- the ground -- the engineers assess that.
The condition of the heat shield -- this launch -- very clean a couple of days ago so it doesn't appear that in Atlanta suffered any significant damage that this is the confirmation.
But their assessment of the heat shield is correct and after the Columbia accident almost seven years ago this is a routine safety measure to make sure the ship can get home safely.
Yellow and green jeans surname Martin an account here Jeanne good to have you back with us I've supported aren't always good to be would -- -- thanks so much you know -- I was struck by the fact as time just that this is sort of on the street -- and when you look back this is a way to shuttle program was supposed to be all the time.
I was visiting back and forth and -- step -- and bringing Faxon in billion dollars get to the point where.
It was just like a bus going back and forth and we all -- the innocent tragic reasons that it didn't turn out to be that way.
But when you look at the big picture now on the shuttle program as it's almost ready to wrap up.
What's your take.
Well here's -- you could -- more resilient all go -- over forty years when -- First open -- had just stepped out of this base send I stepped out and about things.
Now they go up and -- shuttle mission that the door hotel -- -- I think its greatest thing to do.
They have come so far in a relatively short period of time then you know there's nothing we can't do from here on.
Forward you up further away and teens who put -- In a lot further away.
Well first time actually my jeopardy and I flight was under the -- a look at.
Second guy ever hope I had to step out and not tell you that was the euphoric.
Experience for me but look what they're doing now it's with regularity so.
You know we we picked up from what we've learned that the mistakes we've made and -- what we've done with the shuttle while.
Which I think is probably greatest crime machine that's ever been designed and build upon.
There's no place we can't go -- we can't do we just want to do badly enough.
I -- and a great picture and -- young teen center and in 1970 Chile where a second ago it's always good attacking Sarah thank you.
And it's amazing we talk -- the advances in space another try to do get.
Back to do -- -- -- and did so many years ago we're all trying to get back to the moon that we have men and so long Tom Jones thank you as well sir we appreciate your time.
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