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NASA Holds Events To Preview Final Space Shuttle Flights

March 8, 2011

NASA will preview the final space shuttle missions during media events on Wednesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 24, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

On March 23, reporters are invited to a media availability with three of the four STS-135 crew members who will fly aboard Atlantis on the final shuttle flight in June. STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus will demonstrate a shuttle rendezvous and docking to the International Space Station in Johnson’s domed simulation facility. Reporters can film and photograph the crew, instructors and engineering support teams, as well as try the task first-hand.

On March 24, there will be a series of news briefings about shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission targeted to launch on April 19. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast the briefings live. Reporters will be able to ask questions from participating NASA locations. The schedule of briefings is (all times CDT):

8 a.m. — Program Overview
9:30 a.m. — STS-134 Mission Overview
11:30 a.m. — STS-134 Spacewalk Overview
12:30 p.m. — Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Briefing
2 p.m. — STS-134 Crew News Conference

The STS-134 crew will be available for interviews at Johnson by phone or in person after the briefings. To reserve an interview opportunity, reporters must contact Gayle Frere at 281-483-8645 by 5 p.m. on March 18.

To attend the STS-134 events and the STS-135 availability at Johnson, reporters must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 5 p.m. on March 14 for credentials. All required paperwork for international journalists must be submitted to the newsroom by March 14.

STS-134′s 14-day mission to the International Space Station will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a particle physics detector designed to operate from the station and search for various types of unusual matter. The shuttle crew also will deliver spare parts, including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional parts for the Dextre robot. The crew also will transfer Endeavour’s orbiter boom sensor system to the station truss as a permanent fixture to assist spacewalkers, if required.

STS-134 will include four spacewalks. As Endeavour undocks from the station to return to Earth, Commander Mark Kelly and Pilot Greg H. Johnson will ease the shuttle back toward the station to test new sensor technologies that could make it easier for future space vehicles to dock to the International Space Station.

Kelly and Johnson will be joined by Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 directs NASA to conduct the STS-135 mission, and the teams are preparing for the target launch date of June 28. More information on mission preview briefings, which are targeted for mid-June, will be forthcoming. Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the station. The mission also will fly a system to investigate the potential for remote-controlled robot refueling of satellites and spacecraft in orbit.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For the latest information about the remaining shuttle missions and crews, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

For more information about the space station and its crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station




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