Atlantis astronauts ready after long wait

June 4, 2007

Astronauts set to take off from Florida on the shuttle Atlantis are determined to remember the mission, because it could be the last of their careers.

Lee Archambault, a 20-year Air Force test pilot and longtime astronaut, has yet to fly into space, The Miami Herald reported. If all goes smoothly this week Archambault will experience his first journey into space.

Archambault, who began training in 1998, told the Herald it is not uncommon for astronauts to train for many years before embarking on a space mission. Some only get to go into space once in their whole lives.

Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who was disgraced in February after a publicized love triangle with another astronaut, reportedly trained for 10 years before stepping aboard the Discovery last summer.

"I'll probably take a little extra time to look back, from that particular vantage point, at the Earth and enjoy that," said Patrick Forrester, 50, one of the three astronauts to accompany Archambault on the Atlantis.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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