“This is certainly nostalgic. We’ve just seen Discovery land for the final time, and it was Discovery on which I flew twice. I’m a bit sad but on the other hand, it’s a necessity, because we need to free up money for future endeavours.
"Although it has also proven to be not the safest space vehicle, it still is a fabulous machine, one of the most complicated vehicles ever built, but it is not inherently as robust as Soyuz for example.
"One of the things that you notice most about the Shuttle is its big windows. When you orbit around Earth, you fly upside down so the windows are pointing down and you get very good views. I got much better views from the Shuttle than I got from the ISS, until the day Cupola finally got there!
"I don’t think anybody can see a Shuttle launch without being touched by the power and the beauty of the sight and sound, and knowing there are people on board. I think that touches everyone.”