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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
Astronaut tells of 'hard mission'
Piers and Mandy Sellers
Piers Sellers has been reunited with his wife and family
UK astronaut Piers Sellers has been describing the "long, hard mission" which saw him spend 13 days in space as part of the Discovery shuttle's crew.

Dr Sellers, originally from Crowborough in East Sussex, touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday.

Speaking to BBC South East Today, he said: "When the wheels stopped and we were done I think we all looked at each other and said: 'Hey, we're done'."

Dr Sellers went on three spacewalks during the shuttle mission.

He carried out repairs to the exterior of the International Space Station with colleague Mike Fossum.

Dr Sellers, who went to school in Cranbrook in Kent, launched on the Discovery mission on 4 July.

The Discovery shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center
Six astronauts returned to Earth on board Discovery

"I was down on the mid-deck [and] you're in a little grey room bolted to a chair with your straps as tight as they will go," he said.

"And then suddenly somebody lets off a bomb under your backside and you're just catapulted up into the air and everything is shaking.

"It's a very violent moment."

His wife Mandy said she was looking forward to relaxing with her husband now his feet were firmly back on the ground.

"It's been an easier mission to handle once it was in progress than it was before," Mrs Sellers admitted.

"I had a few little moments of being wobbly but it's almost all worthwhile now."

Her husband added: "It's a great feeling, I mean everybody is happy."


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