Saturday, January 31, 2009

Astronauts visit Afghanistan Marines

Date written: Jan. 31, 2009
Story by: Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Astronauts with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration visited deployed service members Jan. 31 on Kandahar Air Field, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

According to Air Force Col. Eric Boe, NASA astronaut, he and his colleagues came to Afghanistan to show all service members their support.

“We just wanted to thank all the troops in the field,” he said. “To us, you are the heroes. We want to salute everyone for the job they’re doing out here and thank them for their service.”

During their tour, sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, the officers spoke about their last mission in space, Space Transportation System – 126, a re-supply mission during which they took more than 15,000 pounds of supplies to an orbiting space station.

The supplies are used to improve the station to support six astronauts as soon as summer 2009, according to Army Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough, NASA astronaut.

After entertaining Kandahar’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, to include Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan, the astronauts answered questions about their experiences in outer space.

“The question we get the most is ‘how do you use the bathroom in space?’” Kimbrough said laughing. “But all joking aside it was nice to get out and talk to the troops. It’s a tough mission they have and we appreciate the hard work they’re doing out here.”

Kimbrough had one last thing to say on the subject of space and the war.

“My favorite part of being an astronaut is looking out the window and seeing our wonderful planet. It looks pretty peaceful, but we know it’s not. We hope all the troops come home safe.”

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