While it may just be another flight back home from space for the Discovery spacecraft, 39 visits to space total, it’s the first for R2. R2 is a state of the art humanoid robot designed to help the ISS crew and was a subject of conversation during an interview between the crew and President Obama.
When they admitted that R2 remained in packing foam Obama joked:
“C’mon, unpack the guy! He flew all that way and you guys aren’t unpacking him?”
A sentimental point that both the crew of the ISS and President Obama brought up was the literally “out-of-this-world” harmony between nations.
Able to connect and collaborate without starting another cold war, the United States, Russia, European Space Agency, and Japan were able to build and maintain life on the I.S.S.
President Obama during the interview called the harmony a testimony to the way we need to
”live and work together productively in space, and maybe back here on earth.”
Colonel Steven Lindsey concurred, commenting on how
”All of these countries put together probably the most complex thing ever built, and built it in space.”
Not only did they put it all together in space, but as Col. Lindsey observed
”everything fit the first time we tried it.”
which makes it just poetic.