June 9, 1997
Headquarters, Washington DC
Eileen Hawley/James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
A cadre of 14 Space Shuttle astronauts has begun intensive training in preparation for the spacewalks required for on-orbit construction of the International Space Station.
"It is important for us to begin work now to train the crews who will support Space Station assembly flights," said David C. Leestma, director of Flight Crew Operations. "These crew members will be exceptionally busy preparing for some challenging and demanding tasks, from initial assembly through installation of the robotic arm and an airlock for station-based spacewalks. We expect that these assignments may be refined in the future, with additional tasks as mission requirements dictate."
The first astronauts assigned to train for space station assembly tasks were Jerry L. Ross (Col., USAF) and James H. Newman, Ph.D., who were named to the STS-88 crew in August 1996. Training will now expand to include Leroy Chiao, Ph.D.; Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., (Lt. Cmdr., USN); Michael L. Gernhardt, Ph.D.; Canadian Astronaut Chris A. Hadfield (Lt. Col., CAF); Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D; Mark C. Lee (Col., USAF); Michael Lopez-Alegria (Cmdr., USN); William S. "Bill" McArthur, Jr., (Col., USA); Carlos I. Noriega (Major, USMC); James F. Reilly, II, Ph.D.; Joseph R. Tanner; and Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff, Ph.D.
The specific assignments for these U.S. assembly flights, through August 1999, are:
Flight/Crew Members Date Payload
STS-88/Jerry Ross and Jim Newman July 9, 1998 Node 1; ISSA-2A Connect power cables
STS-92/Leroy Chiao; Jeff Wisoff January 1999 Integrated Truss ISSA-3A Michael Lopez-Alegria Portable Mating Adapter and Bill McArthur
STS-97/Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega March 1999 Photovoltaic ISSA-4A module
STS-98/Mark Lee and Tom Jones May 1999 U.S. Lab Module ISSA-5A
STS-99/Chris Hadfield and June 1999 Lab outfitting; ISSA-6A Robert Curbeam Remote Manipulating System
STS-100/Mike Gernhardt and August 1999 Joint Airlock, ISSA-7A James Reilly High Pressure Gas Assembly
"The assignment of these crew members is a critical element in our ability to bring together the elements of the space station on the ground and then successfully assemble them in orbit," said Randy Brinkley, Space Station program manager. "I am highly pleased with the level of expertise and dedication these crew members bring to the program."
Each of the astronauts named for these assembly flights has previous spaceflight experience, with the exception of Curbeam, who will make his first flight in July 1997, and Reilly, who will make his first flight in January 1998. Ross, Newman, Chiao, Wisoff, Tanner, Lee and Gernhardt all have performed spacewalks during their previous flights. The remaining astronauts, Lopez-Alegria, McArthur, Noriega, Jones, Curbeam, Reilly and Hadfield are training for their first spacewalks. When Hadfield conducts his scheduled spacewalk in June 1999, he will become the first Canadian to walk in space.
For complete biographical information on these crew members and other astronauts, see the NASA Internet astronaut biography home page at address:
For information on the International Space Station, visit the Space Station home page at address:
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