NASA Astronauts Prepare for Hubble Mission

STS-125 Crew at the Hatch

As the countdown gets underway for the fifth and final space shuttle mission to save the Hubble space telescope, the seven astronauts getting ready for the flight of a lifetime shared their thoughts with ABC News.

What's it like to be this close to launching into space?

Scott Altman dreams about landing the space shuttle. Meghan McArthur mentally rehearses grabbing Hubble with the space shuttle's robotic arm. Greg Johnson hopes he throws all the switches in the right order during launch. Drew Feustel was scrambling to get NASA TV installed at home so his family can watch his spacewalks.

The six men and women arrived at Kennedy Space Center for a Monday launch.
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John Grunsfeld is planning a surprise for his 20th wedding anniversary – even though he will be in orbit. Mike Good is trying to get college professors to change finals for his sons so they won't miss their dad's first launch into space. Mike Massimino made sure all his paperwork was finished.

Commander Scott Altman -- his Navy call sign is Scooter -- is a veteran of three space shuttle missions, and this is his second trip to Hubble. His last-minute to do list includes making sure all his family members coming to the launch have what they need.

His one regret is missing his son's graduation from Rice University on Saturday. Scooter will be in Florida getting ready for the flight.

Shuttle Commander Practices for Hubble Mission

What does a space shuttle commander practice over and over in his mind before he launches? Landings. He says he dreams about landing the orbiter.

"After my first landing, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. I can't remember putting the landing gear down, wait we landed, it's all okay, I guess we did it, never mind, I guess we can go back to sleep," he said.

Pilot Greg Johnson would like Altman to sleep through a landing. He joked to us, "I am working on how I can make sure Scooter is incapacitated so I can take the landings."

Scooter replied, "A mutiny!"

Johnson checked his menu for the mission and noticed something missing: Pudding. He likes to have pudding for dessert every night and completely forgot to add it to the spaceflight menu.

Astronauts Make Sure Families Can Get NASA TV

Megan McArthur, when she isn't training for Hubble, is trying to rebuild her home, which was flooded during Hurricane Ike. Her most important task on this mission comes after Atlantis rendezvous' with Hubble.

She will use the shuttles robotic arm to gently capture the telescope. She wants her colleagues on the flight to remind her to write in her journal.

"I have always been really terrible at keeping a journal and different things I have done in my life, and I was thinking about that last night - I really would like to try to grab my crew notebook, just to remember how I am feeling right then because to remember later is probably going to be hard," she said.

Spacewalker Drew Feustel was getting NASA TV installed so his wife Indi and their two sons could watch him on his three spacewalks. He is spending his time before the mission signing photos, and folding little paper models of Hubble to take along on the mission.

He plays guitar in the astronaut band Max Q, and is bringing his iPod with him.

iPods in Space?

"I am wondering how I can listen to all my music in space. I have 500 songs, I am just wondering, can I listen to my iPod enough to hear all my songs?" he said, quipping, "Can they pipe it into my suit during spacewalks?"

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