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William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Marsha Canright
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
409-772-NEWS (6397)
RELEASE : J06-066
Space Station Program Scientist to Visit Bed Rest Subjects
International Space Station Program Scientist and NASA astronaut Donald Thomas will tour facilities and visit volunteers participating in bed rest studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston June 15.

As part of a 10-year project involving research facilities around the country, NASA recruits civilian volunteers to undergo 21 to 90 days of continuous head- down bed rest as part of its Flight Analog Project. Prolonged bed rest can closely imitate many effects of weightlessness on the body, including muscle atrophy and bone density loss. The volunteers help physicians and scientists learn more about the effects of the weightless environment on the human body, providing biomedical data needed for sending future space travelers back to the moon and on to Mars.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. He flew on shuttle missions STS-65 in 1994, STS-70 in 1995, STS-83 in 1997 and STS-94 in 1997. He has logged more than 1,040 hours in space. Named the International Space Station program scientist in 2003, he oversees the NASA experiments performed on the space station.

Thomas will deliver brief remarks and then be available for interviews. For more information, contact Marsha Canright at (409) 772-NEWS (6397) or William Jeffs at (281) 483-5111.

For more information about Thomas, visit:

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