NASA Sets Briefings to Preview Next Space Shuttle Mission

NASA will discuss the next space shuttle mission during a daylong series of media briefings from NASA's Johnson Space Center beginning at 8 a.m. CST, Friday, Jan. 9. The briefings will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's Web site. Questions also will be taken from participating NASA locations.

Space shuttle Discovery's mission to the International Space Station is targeted for launch Feb. 12 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 14-day mission will deliver the final set of solar arrays and the last segment of the station's backbone. The crew will perform four spacewalks during the 10 days the shuttle is docked to the station.

Following the briefings, members of the shuttle crew will be available for a series of round-robin interviews. Media planning to attend and participate in the interviews must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 5 p.m. on Jan. 6. Journalists who are foreign nationals, regardless of citizenship, must contact Johnson to arrange credentials no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Lee Archambault will command Discovery's mission, which is designated STS-119. Tony Antonelli will serve as the pilot. The mission specialists are Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus, who will return to Earth with the STS-119 crew. Wakata will serve as a flight engineer for Expeditions 18 and 19 and will return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-127.

The schedule of briefings (all times are Central) is:

8 a.m. -- Space Shuttle and Space Station Program Overview
9:30 a.m. -- STS-119 Mission Overview
11 a.m. -- NASA TV Video File
11:30 a.m. -- STS-119 Spacewalk Overview
1 p.m. -- STS-119 Crew News Conference

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules, and downlink information, visit:

For the latest information about the STS-119 mission and its crew, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

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