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February 19, 2002

Kyle Herring/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4504/1600)

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)


John Glenn and NASA Administrator Mark Historic Space Flight With International Space Station Crew Conversation

On Feb. 20, 1962, an Atlas rocket carried former U.S. Senator John H. Glenn Jr. into space. Senator Glenn, tucked inside his cramped Friendship 7 Mercury capsule, became the first American to orbit the Earth. Today, American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts have a permanent home in orbit aboard the International Space Station.

To mark the 40th anniversary of his historic flight, Senator Glenn and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will talk to the Expedition Four crew, which is currently orbiting the Earth aboard the space station. The conversation, scheduled for about 4 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 20, will be carried live on NASA Television.

This special in-flight event comes at the end of a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk by Expedition Four crewmembers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch. The two also plan to commemorate four decades of human orbital space flight during their excursion outside the space research facility, which is expected to begin about 7 a.m. EST and will be carried live on NASA TV

During the spacewalk, astronauts Walz and Bursch will revalidate all systems of the Quest Airlock, the segment that allows the space station crew to conduct spacewalks with both Russian and American spacesuits. Expedition Four Commander Yury Onufrienko will serve as spacewalk choreographer inside the Destiny Laboratory.

NASA TV can be found on GE-2, Transponder 9C, vertical polarization at 85 degrees West longitude, 3880 MHz, with audio at 6.8 MHz.


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