Last of the Rides on the Space Shuttle (Simulator)

The command crew of Endeavor STS-134 is scheduled for lift-off in February 2011. Before then, members will go through hundreds of practice runs in a flight simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The simulation is an exact mock-up of the flight deck that never leaves the ground — but shakes, rattles and rolls with some of the sensations of space flight. The run-through lasts for almost two hours and ends with a successful landing, despite the onslaught of problems.

“It’s a feeling like no other,” he says. “It’s awe-inspiring. It makes you proud that America can do something like that. And that we have the courage to do something like that, because it takes courage to go fly in space.”

Want to know what its like to work Mission Control? Listen to this story.