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Bowen To Replace Kopra On STS-133 Shuttle Crew

January 19, 2011

Media Teleconference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CST

NASA selected astronaut Steve Bowen as a mission specialist on STS-133, the next space shuttle mission planned for launch on Feb. 24. Bowen replaces astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident over the weekend. The agency will hold a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Jan. 19, to discuss the change in crew personnel.

The teleconference panelists are:

– Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations

– Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact the NASA Space Operations Public Affairs office at 202-358-1100 or the Johnson Space Center’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 for dial-in instructions. Requests must include reporters’ media affiliation and telephone number.

“Tim is doing fine and expects a full recovery, however, he will not be able to support the launch window next month,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “If for some unanticipated reason STS-133 slips significantly, it is possible that Tim could rejoin the crew.”

The crew change should not affect the mission’s target launch date.

“Steve is an ideal candidate, and we have complete confidence he’ll contribute to a fully successful STS-133 mission,” Whitson said. “He has performed five prior spacewalks. That extensive experience, coupled with some adjustments to the spread of duties among the crew, will allow for all mission objectives to be accomplished as originally planned in the current launch window.”

Bowen will begin training this week with the STS-133 crew, which includes Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Bowen also will train to perform the two planned spacewalks of the mission. He will join Alvin Drew to move a failed ammonia pump and perform other external configurations to the station.

The STS-133 mission to the International Space Station will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, an external platform that holds large equipment and critical spare components for the station. The mission also will deliver Robonaut 2, or R2, the first human-like robot in space.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

For Bowen’s complete astronaut biographical information, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/bowen-sg.html

For Kopra’s complete astronaut biographical information, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/kopra-tl.html

For information on the STS-133 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle




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