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The Orbital Perspective by Muhammad Yunus, Astronaut Ron Garan

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CHAPTER FOUR

One Moment in Space

image I lay on my back, surprised at how calm and focused I felt, strapped to four and a half million pounds of explosives. Years of training, preparation, hard work, and prayer had led me to this moment, on May 31, 2008. Although I was a trained and qualified shuttle pilot, I was flying on this, my first flight, as Mission Specialist 2 (MS2), the flight engineer. My journey to this seat had begun about a year and a half earlier, when the chief of the Astronaut Office, Kent Rominger, sent a note to all the pilots in my astronaut class asking if we would consider undertaking our first flight as a mission specialist. I ...

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