The tributes were simple and personal, with each astronaut taking only a moment to share their thoughts, one by one paying tribute to those who'd gone before. Here's a sampling from this morning's tribute.
Pilot Jim Kelly:
"As we orbit the Earth today, we are able to watch the beauty of the Earth and heavens unfurl before us as we undertake this journey. And we are reminded that it is upon the completion of the journey and the arrival back at the place from whence we came that we can say we truly know ourselves. Sadly, there are those who have been challenged by the adventure of human space exploration but who have not been able to experience that special feeling that comes with returning home...
Mission Specialist Charlie Camarada:
"Tragically, two years ago, we came once more to realize that we had let our guard down. We became lost in our own hubris and learned once more the terrible price that must be paid for our failures. In that accident we not only lost seven colleagues, we lost seven friends. Their families never shared in their homecoming. Those seven were driven by the fire of the human spirit within. They believed in space exploration. They knew the risks, but they believed in what they were doing...
Mission Commander Eileen Collins:
"And, in closing, for all our lost colleagues, we leave you with this prayer:
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."