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Kathy Barnstorff
(757) 864-9886

RELEASE NO. 98-078

Photos and video b-roll of astronaut tour are available

Future Astronauts Tour NASA Center

The newest space pioneers from five countries came to Hampton today to tour the NASA Langley Research Center, the oldest civilian aeronautics laboratory in the U.S.

NASA named 25 men and women to the 1998 astronaut candidate class back in June. At least five have close ties to Hampton Roads. One was a researcher in the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at Langley. The others were stationed in the area with the U.S. Navy at the time of their selection.

This year's class includes eight pilot and 17 mission specialist candidates. Of the 25 class members, 21 are male and four are female. Training alongside the U.S. astronaut candidates are a number of international payload specialists. All 31 are visiting NASA field centers across the country.

The astronaut candidates are based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. They arrived there last month for a year of training and evaluation. Following that the astronauts will receive technical assignments within the Astronaut Office before receiving a space flight assignment.

The new U.S. class members are: Clayton C. Anderson; Lee J. Archambault (Maj., USAF); Tracy E. Caldwell, Ph.D.; Gregory E. Chamitoff, Ph.D.; Timothy J. Creamer (Maj., USA); Christopher J. Ferguson (Lt. Cmdr., USN); Michael J. Foreman (Cmdr., USN); Michael E. Fossum; Kenneth T. Ham (Lt. Cmdr., USN); Patricia C. Hilliard, M.D.; Gregory C. Johnson; Gregory H. Johnson (Maj., USAF); Stanley G. Love, Ph.D.; Leland D. Melvin; Barbara R. Morgan; William A. Oefelein (Lt., USN); John D. Olivas, Ph.D., Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Ph.D.; Alan G. Poindexter (Lt. Cmdr., USN); Garrett E. Reisman, Ph.D.; Steven R. Swanson; Douglas H. Wheelock (Maj., USA); Sunita L. Williams (Lt. Cmdr., USN); Neil W. Woodward III (Lt., USN); and George D. Zamka (Maj., USMC).

Accompanying them are Paolo Nespoli (Italy), Marcos Pontes (Brazil), Hans Schlegel (Germany), Roberto Vittori (Italy), Bjarni Tryggvason (Canada) and Robert Thirsk (Canada).

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