Kennedy News

Allard Beutel
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

Aug. 11, 2009
Texas Native to Fly on Next Shuttle Mission
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA astronaut Danny Olivas, born and raised in El Paso, Texas, will conduct three spacewalks during the upcoming space shuttle mission to the International Space Station. This is the first shuttle flight to feature two Latino astronauts, Olivas and Jose Hernandez who are both of Mexican descent.

Discovery is targeted to launch at 1:36 a.m. EDT, Aug. 25, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. To cover the launch on-site, U.S. reporters must request Kennedy credentials online at:

Olivas is one of seven astronauts who will fly on Discovery's STS-128 mission. The 13-day flight will deliver science and storage racks, a freezer to store research samples, a new sleeping compartment and a treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert. The name Colbert received the most entries in NASA's online poll to name the station's Node 3. NASA named the node Tranquility.

Olivas graduated from Burges High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas - El Paso. He holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University in Houston. He holds six patents.

Olivas was selected as an astronaut in 1998 and served in various roles throughout NASA, including robotics and extravehicular activity. His first spaceflight was in 2007, when he flew as a mission specialist on STS-117. He logged 336 hours in space and more than 14 hours conducting spacewalks during that mission to the space station.

For Olivas' complete biography, visit:

For the latest information about the STS-128 mission and crew, visit:


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