msnbc | July 15, 2011
>>> astronauts aboard the space shuttle "atlantis" have been incredibly busy with their mission delivering supplies to the international space station . and loading up trash to bring back to earth. they've also had their share of come computer problems. as we speak the crew is taking time out to speak with president obama from the oval office . this is the live picture of their conversation with the president. we're joined via skype by nbc's space expert jay. what they need on every space crew is the i.t. guy.
>> they do. they have five come computers. so that's great. they've been talking to the president here in the last five minutes getting a pep talk from him. in fact, when he called up, he said he was calling out for pizza as a little joke. and he got the astronauts. so that's going well with them. they'll be returning home next thursday at 5:58 a.m . eastern time . real early. and once the wheels stop on the shuttle, contessa, that will be the end of the space shuttle program . and technically american astronauts will be without a spacecraft. they'll spend the next four years or so riding into space on board russian spacecraft while another space race , if you will, will be taking race. boeing company has a great spacecraft called cst-100. they're looking to have it ready to go. it's a commercial private venture in four years by 2015 . so does space x the new company. they have one called dragon. we'll sit here and watch them try to get back in space in the next four years.
>> given that you've covered the whole shuttle missions from the get-go here, maybe you'll be there for the beginning and the end of the next space race . jay, always good to see you. thank you.
>> thank you.