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Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749

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

May 17, 2006
NASA Sets Media Briefings for Next Space Shuttle Mission
The seven-member crew of NASA's next space shuttle flight and Space Shuttle Program managers will participate in a series of media briefings June 8 at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. The briefings begin at 9 a.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on NASA TV. Reporters at participating NASA locations may ask questions.

Space Shuttle Discovery's launch is targeted for July 1 in a launch window that extends to July 19. The mission, designated STS-121, will continue evaluating new shuttle safety improvements, many of which first flew on Discovery's July 2005 mission. The improvements include a redesign of the shuttle external fuel tank's foam insulation, in-flight inspection of the shuttle's heat shield, improved imagery during launch and the ability to launch a shuttle rescue mission if needed.

Discovery will carry supplies and a third crew member to the International Space Station. At least two spacewalks are planned during the 12-day mission, which also includes repair work to the station.

Planned briefings:

Program Overview, 9 a.m. EDT
Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager
Kirk Shireman, International Space Station Program deputy manager

Mission Overview, 10 a.m. EDT
Tony Ceccacci, Lead STS-121 space shuttle flight director
Rick LaBrode, Lead STS-121/ULF1.1 International Space Station flight director

Space Shuttle Safety Improvements, 11 a.m. EDT
Steve Poulos, Space Shuttle Orbiter Projects Office manager
John Chapman, Space Shuttle External Tank Project manager
Terri Murphy, Space Shuttle Imagery integration manager

NASA TV Video File, 12 p.m. EDT

Spacewalk Overview, 1 p.m. EDT
Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, Lead STS-121 extravehicular activities officer

Crew News Conference, 2 p.m. EDT
Steve Lindsey, commander
Mark Kelly, pilot
Mike Fossum, mission specialist
Lisa Nowak, mission specialist
Stephanie Wilson, mission specialist
Piers Sellers, mission specialist
Thomas Reiter, mission specialist, station Expedition 13 flight engineer 2

Round-robin interviews with the astronauts are available to media in person or by phone. United States media planning to attend or participate in round-robins should contact the Johnson newsroom at (281) 483-5111 by 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 6. Foreign national media planning to attend must contact the same number by 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 23, to arrange credentials.

NASA's Video File airs on the Media Channel (Program 103) at 6-8 and 9-11 a.m.; 12-2 and 4-7 p.m.; and 10 p.m.-midnight. All times are Eastern.

NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6; 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they're on AMC-7; 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink and links to streaming video, visit:

For more information on STS-121 and its crew, visit:

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