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June 8, 2004

James A. Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111



Release: #J04-028

NOTE TO EDITORS: MEDIA INVITED TO SWEARING-IN OF NASA'S NEW EXPLORERS

Media are invited to watch as members of NASA's new class of astronaut candidates report for duty at JSC on Monday, June 14. Afterward, the astronaut candidates will be available for interviews in person and by phone.

Media will be able to observe as the astronaut candidates are sworn in as NASA employees. The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. CDT in one of the U.S. space program's most famous landmarks, the room that served as Mission Control for the Apollo moon landings. Media interested in attending the ceremony or participating in individual interview opportunities later that day should contact the JSC newsroom, 281/483-5111, no later than 5 p.m. CDT Thursday, June 10.

Announced on May 6 at the Space Day ceremony in Washington, the 11-member class will be the first astronauts focused from the start on realizing the new Vision for Space Exploration to extend human presence across the solar system, including a return to the Moon. Their training begins this month with basic flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. Three of the class of 11 are already qualified pilots; they will not attend the flight training in Pensacola or the swearing-in ceremony on June 14. They will join the class in August.

The NASA astronaut candidates will be joined in their training by three new Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts, who will also be available the afternoon of June 14 for individual interviews.

The NASA astronaut candidate class includes six people training to be mission specialists, two training to be spacecraft pilots, and three new educator astronauts. The astronaut candidates attending the June 14 swearing-in include:

--Joe Acaba, a teacher from Florida who grew up in California
--Ricky Arnold, who has taught at international schools and grew up in Maryland
--Chris Cassidy, a Navy SEAL who grew up in Maine and was stationed most recently in Virginia
--Jose Hernandez, an engineer from California who works at JSC
--Tom Marshburn, a medical doctor who was born in North Carolina, raised in Georgia, and currently works at JSC
--Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, a teacher from Washington state who was born in Colorado
--Bobby Satcher, a medical doctor and Ph.D. who was born in Virginia and practiced medicine most recently in Illinois
--Shannon Walker, a Ph.D. in astrophysics who works at JSC

The JAXA astronauts reporting for training are:

--Satoshi Furukawa, a medical doctor from Kanagawa Prefecture
--Akihiko Hoshide, an engineer from Tokyo
--Naoko Yamazaki, an engineer born in Chiba Prefecture

Full biographies of the astronaut candidates are available on the internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/ascan_media.html

More information on the Japanese astronauts is available from JAXA at:

http://iss.sfo.jaxa.jp/astro/profile_e.html

Video b-roll of the astronaut candidates will be fed on NASA Television beginning with the Video File on Monday, June 14. Video of the swearing-in ceremonies will feed as soon as it is available. NASA Television is available on AMC-9, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.

For information about NASA TV on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/

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