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“Are you willing to go for this kind of thing?” she asked. He was all for it.

He’s actually in the space business. He is president and chief executive officer of Mansat Limited, a commercial space business headquartered on the Isle of Man, his homeland. They have an 8-year-old son.

Stott, 48, an engineer who grew up in Clearwater, Fla., joined NASA in 1988. She worked on shuttles at Kennedy Space Center, eventually becoming in charge of preparing Endeavour for launch and a lead engineer for Columbia. She became an astronaut in 2000. This is her second space mission; she’ll help attach a cargo carrier to the space station, using a robot arm.

“I pinch myself now to think that I actually got to work that close to space shuttles every day and then now, somehow have been blessed with the opportunity to actually fly on them,” she said.