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So I decided on science when I was in college.
Once you are assigned to a flight, the whole crew is assigned at the same time, and then that crew trains together for a whole year to prepare for that flight.
On both of my flights, everything went very well.
On a standard space shuttle crew, two of the astronauts have a test pilot background - the commander and the pilot.
No, I think most astronauts recognize that the space shuttle program is very high-risk, and are prepared for accidents.
NASA has to approve whatever we wear, so there are clothes to choose from, like space shorts - we wear those a lot - and NASA T-shirts.
My background is in physics, so I was the mission specialist, who is sort of like the flight engineer on an airplane.
It's easy to sleep floating around - it's very comfortable. But you have to be careful that you don't float into somebody or something!
It takes a few years to prepare for a space mission.
It takes a couple of years just to get the background and knowledge that you need before you can go into detailed training for your mission.
I was always very interested in science, and I knew that for me, science was a better long-term career than tennis.
I slept just floating in the middle of the flight deck, the upper deck of the space shuttle.
I liked math - that was my favorite subject - and I was very interested in astronomy and in physical science.
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