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Joe Pally
Headquarters, Washington

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston

June 21, 2006
Flight Director for Next Shuttle Available for Interviews
The man who will lead Mission Control for Space Shuttle Discovery's upcoming flight will be available for satellite interviews from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 28, just hours before the shuttle's three-day launch countdown begins.

Shuttle mission STS-121 Lead Flight Director Tony Ceccacci can provide an overview of the flight's planned day-to-day activities during the interviews. It is the second of two missions to test shuttle safety enhancements following the Columbia accident.

To interview Ceccacci, media must contact Debbie Sharp at 281-483-4942 no later than 5 p.m. EDT Monday, June 26.

A native of Detroit, Ceccacci received a bachelor's degree from Saginaw Valley State College, Saginaw, Mich. He began his career at NASA in 1980 as a propulsion officer in Mission Control. He has since worked in a variety of positions in the control center during shuttle flights, as well as on other NASA projects, before being selected as a flight director.

During Discovery's mission, Ceccacci will lead a team of flight directors, flight controllers, support personnel and other experts in Houston and elsewhere.

Discovery will carry supplies and a third crew member to the International Space Station. The mission also will continue to evaluate new shuttle safety improvements, including a redesign of the shuttle external fuel tank's foam insulation; in-flight inspection and repair of the shuttle's heat shield; and enhanced imagery during launch and operations in orbit. At least two spacewalks are planned during the 12-day flight.

Video highlights of Ceccacci and the STS-121 crew training will air on NASA TV beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT June 28.

The interviews will be carried live on the NASA TV Media Channel and analog satellite. For NASA TV schedules, downlink information and links to streaming video, visit:

For information about STS-121 and its crew, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

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