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March 26, 2001

Kirsten Larson
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-0243)

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: H01-45a

NASA Names Future Space Station Expedition Crews

As the Expedition Two crew gets settled aboard the International Space Station, American crew members for future space station missions have begun formal training to meet launch dates, beginning in 2002.

The 14 astronauts, six assigned to primary crews and eight assigned to backup crews, will join a corps of expedition astronauts and cosmonauts previously named to the first four International Space Station expeditions. Russian members of these new expedition crews will be formally announced in the near future.

"These assignments signal that the space station is ready for long-term operations," said Charlie Precourt, the chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. "We have an outstanding corps of highly qualified astronauts who will complete assembly and take the station into a new era of scientific research in space."

The Expedition Five crew will consist of astronaut Peggy Whitson (Ph.D.) and two Russian cosmonauts, one of whom will be the mission commander. This will be Whitson's first space flight. She was selected as an astronaut in 1996 after serving in a number of research positions at Johnson. Astronaut Scott J. Kelly (Lt. Cmdr., USN), who flew on STS-103 in 1999, will serve as Whitson's backup.

Kenneth Bowersox (Capt. USN) will command the Expedition Six crew that includes astronaut Donald Thomas (Ph.D.) and a Russian cosmonaut. Bowersox will be taking his fifth trip to space, having flown on STS-50 in 1992, STS-61 in 1993, STS-73 in 1995, and STS-82 in 1997. Bowersox also trained as a backup crew member to Bill Shepherd on the first expedition crew. Thomas, another veteran astronaut, flew in space on STS-65 in 1994, STS-70 in 1995, STS-83 in 1997, and STS-94 in 1997. Carlos I. Noriega (Lt. Col., USMC) is the backup commander to Bowersox, and Donald Pettit (Ph.D.) will back up Thomas. Noriega flew on STS-84 in 1997 and STS-97 in 2000, and Pettit is a space rookie.

American astronaut Ed Lu (Ph.D.) along with a Russian commander and flight engineer make up the Expedition Seven crew. Lu will take his third trip to space, having flown on STS-84 in 1997 and STS-106 in 2000. Paul Richards, also aboard the STS-102 mission, will serve as a backup to Lu.

Astronaut Michael Foale (Ph.D.), serving as commander of Expedition Eight, will have William McArthur (Col., USA) and a Russian cosmonaut as flight engineers. Foale has flown in space five times, including a long-duration stay aboard Mir in 1997. He served as a member of STS-45 in 1992, STS-56 in 1993, STS-63 in 1995, STS-84 and STS-86 on his trip to Mir, and STS-103 in 1999. McArthur will be taking his fourth trip into space, having flown on STS-58 in 1993, STS-74 in 1995, and STS-92 in 2000. Leroy Chiao (Ph.D.) is training as backup commander for Foale, and John Phillips (Ph.D.) will be McArthur's backup. Chiao is a space veteran with three missions, STS-65, STS-72, and STS-92, and Phillips is currently training for his first flight, STS-100, scheduled to launch in April 2001.

The newly-named crews will be preceded at the space station by the first four expedition crews. The Expedition One crew - American astronaut William M. Shepherd (Capt., USN) as commander and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko (Col., Russian Air Force) and Sergei Krikalev will conclude its stay on board the station in mid-March returning to Earth on board Discovery with the STS-102 crew.

The second expedition crew is commanded by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Usachev, joined by American astronauts James S. Voss (Col., USA) and Susan J. Helms (Lt. Col., USAF).

The third crew to inhabit the International Space Station will be commanded by American astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, a retired U.S. Navy captain. Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov, (Lt. Col., Russian Air Force) and Mikhail Turin will complete the Expedition Three crew. Astronaut Peggy Whitson is a backup crew member for the third expedition.

The fourth resident crew, which also backed up Expedition Two, will be commanded by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko (Col., Russian Air Force) who will be joined on this four-month mission by astronauts Carl E. Walz (Lt. Col., USAF) and Daniel Bursch (Cmdr., USN). Astronauts Steve Robinson (Ph.D.) and Mike Finke (Maj., USAF) are training as backups to Walz and Bursch. Robinson flew on STS-85 in 1997 and STS-95 in 1998, and Finke has not yet flown in space.

A list of all astronauts and cosmonauts in training at Johnson, along with their biographical data, can be found on the Internet at:

 

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