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James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

RELEASE : J06-093
NASA Flight Director Available as Shuttle Countdown Starts
As the launch countdown starts for NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis, one of Mission Control's leaders for the flight is available for live interviews from 6 to 8 a.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 24.

Lead International Space Station Flight Director John McCullough will be available live from the Johnson Space Center, Houston, via the NASA TV analog satellite. To interview McCullough, media must contact Debbie Sharp at 281-483-5111 by 2 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Atlantis' flight, designated STS-115, is set to launch Sunday, Aug. 27. McCullough will oversee the complex attachment of a 17.5-ton, bus-sized section of a girder-like truss to the International Space Station. The new component, called the P3/P4 truss, includes a second set of huge solar arrays for the station and the first giant rotary joint to allow the panels to follow the sun.

Intricate work with the shuttle and station robotic arms and three spacewalks will attach the new segment. The installation and unfolding of the arrays will require precise choreography between Mission Control and the STS-115 astronauts and station crew members. Atlantis' flight begins a series of station assembly flights that will be as challenging and complex as any in space history.

The interviews will be carried on NASA TV's Media Channel and analog satellite. For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling, analog and digital downlink information, visit:

For information about STS-115 and its crew, visit:

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