NASA to Preview Final Flight of Space Shuttle Discovery
HOUSTON -- NASA will preview the next space shuttle mission, the final flight of shuttle Discovery and the next to last scheduled shuttle flight, during a series of news briefings Thursday, Oct. 21, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA Television and the agency's website will broadcast the briefings live. Reporters will be able to ask questions from participating NASA locations, including Kennedy Space Center's Press Site.
Discovery is targeted to launch Nov. 1 on the 11-day STS-133 mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), which was converted from the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo. The PMM will provide additional storage for the station crew, and experiments may be conducted inside it. Discovery also will carry critical spare components and the Express Logistics Carrier 4, an external platform that holds large equipment that can only be transported using the unique capability of the shuttle. Robonaut 2, or R2, will be the first human-like robot in space when it flies on Discovery inside the PMM to become a permanent resident of the station.
Astronaut Steve Lindsey will command Discovery. Eric Boe is the pilot. They will be joined by Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Kopra and Drew are scheduled to perform two spacewalks to do maintenance work and install new components.
The schedule of briefings is (all times EDT):
9 a.m. -- Program Overview
10:30 a.m. -- STS-133 Mission Overview
1 p.m. -- STS-133 Spacewalk Overview
2 p.m. - Robonaut 2 Briefing
3 p.m. -- STS-133 Crew News Conference
The crew will be available for interviews at Johnson by phone or in person after the briefings. Reporters must contact Gayle Frere at 281-483-8645 by 6 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18 to reserve an interview opportunity. Reporters planning to attend the briefings or interviews in Houston must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 for credentials.
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For the latest information about the STS-133 mission and its crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
For more information about the space station and its crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
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