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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

June 9, 2004
Media Invited To Meet NASA's Newest Explorers
Media are invited to watch NASA's new class of astronaut candidates report for duty at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Monday, June 14. The astronaut candidates will be available for interviews in person and by phone Monday afternoon.

Media will be able to observe as the astronaut candidates are sworn in as NASA employees. The ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT. It will be in one of the U.S. space program's most famous landmarks, the room that served as Mission Control for the Apollo moon landings. Media interested in attending the ceremony or participating in individual interview opportunities later should contact the JSC newsroom no later than 6 p.m. EDT Thursday, at: 281/483-5111.

The 11-member astronaut class is the first focused from the start on realizing the new Vision for Space Exploration, to extend a human presence across the solar system, including a return to the moon. Their training begins with basic flight instruction at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla. Three of the class are already qualified pilots. They will not attend the flight training in Pensacola or the ceremony on June 14. They will join the class in August. The NASA astronaut candidate class includes six people training to be mission specialists, two training to be spacecraft pilots, and three educator astronauts.

Three new Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts will join the NASA astronaut candidates in their training. They will also be available Monday for interviews.

Astronaut candidates attending the June 14 ceremony:

– – Joe Acaba, a teacher from Florida, he grew up in Calif.
– – Ricky Arnold, taught at international schools, and he grew up in Md.
– – Chris Cassidy, Navy SEAL, grew up in Maine; he was stationed recently in Va.
– – Jose Hernandez, an engineer from Calif, he works for NASA in Texas
– – Tom Marshburn, medical doctor born in N.C. raised in Ga., he works for NASA in Texas
– – Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, teacher from Wash., she was born in Colo.
– – Bobby Satcher, medical doctor and Ph.D., born in Va., practiced medicine in Ill.
– – Shannon Walker, a Ph.D. in astrophysics who works for NASA in Texas

JAXA astronauts reporting for training:

– – Satoshi Furukawa, a medical doctor from Kanagawa Prefecture
– – Akihiko Hoshide, an engineer from Tokyo
– – Naoko Yamazaki, an engineer born in Chiba Prefecture

Full biographies of the astronaut candidates are available on the Internet at:

Information on the Japanese astronauts is available from JAXA at:

Video b-roll of the astronaut candidates will be fed on NASA TV Video File on Monday. Video of the swearing-in ceremonies will feed as soon as it is available. NASA TV is available on AMC-9, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. For information about NASA TV on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:


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