Inside the minds of Endeavour crewmembers

Former NASA astronaut decribes pre-launch emotion

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Ed Mitchell was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14. In 1971, Mitchell became the sixth person to walk on the moon.

He knows what the astronauts on Endeavour are going through.

"The launch isn't the big thing. It's the work that goes into it. That's the important part of it," said   Mitchell. 

"They've got a mission plan in hand. They know what they are supposed to be doing and how they are supposed to do it. That's what's on their mind." Mitchell said Endeavour's crew likely will not have time to think about the gravity of their mission into space because they will be focusing on how to complete the mission.

Like Endeavour's mission, Mitchell's launch was also delayed, but his by only forty minutes because of a passing thunderstorm. "And the next thing I knew, Alan Shepard was tapping me and saying 'wake up', it was time to go. I had fallen off to sleep," Mitchell said. And then they lifted off and didn't look back. They completed their mission then just as Mitchell believes Endeavour's crew will do in the coming weeks.

Mitchell said he will be watching on television as Endeavour makes it's 25th and final journey. About a half million people are expected to travel to Cape Canaveral for the launch including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who will take a break from rehab to support her husband, Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly.

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