Interview with lead spacewalker on Endeavour's final mission

February 23, 2012

In an exclusive interview with Physics World, astronaut Drew Feustel gives a vivid account of his two missions into space and recalls his determination to make his childhood ambition – space flight – come true.

In the video, Feustel discusses his two missions – his maiden flight in 2009, as part of a team sent to repair the Hubble telescope, and his return to space in 2011 as the lead spacewalker on Endeavour's final mission to the International Space Station.

Recalling the first moments of launch, when you're sitting on the launch pad and the countdown hits zero, Feustel compares it to being "smacked in the back with a frying pan."

In response to the environmental issues we are currently experiencing on Earth, Feustel says: "Nowhere on the ground can you really see the atmosphere except that we see the blue sky. But when you're in space and you look down upon the planet, you can easily see that thin veil that separates us from the vacuum of space -- and you realise how fragile it is and how important it is for us to protect the planet."

Explore further: Astronauts take 3rd spacewalk for laying cable

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