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STS-121 Crew Gets 'Hands-On' Look at Discovery


Commander Steve Lindsey during CEIT Six of the seven crew members of the next return-to-flight mission, STS-121, converged at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 17 and 18 to take part in the Crew Equipment Interface Test.

Image right: In NASA Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility, STS-121 Commander Steve Lindsey works with equipment that will be on the mission. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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Commander Steven Lindsey is a veteran of three space flights: STS-87 in 1997, STS-95 in 1998 and STS-104 in 2001. Lindsey has already logged over 896 hours in space.

Pilot Mark Kelly during CEIT The astronauts typically gather before flight to inspect the orbiter, and this mission is no exception. The crew will fly on Discovery to the International Space Station to deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

Image left: Mark Kelly inspects one of the windows that will fly on Space Shuttle Discovery during the mission. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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Mission Specialist Lisa Nowak during CEIT Pilot Mark Kelly also served as pilot for the STS-108 Endeavour mission in December, 2001 delivering over 3 tons of equipment and supplies to the ISS.

Image right: Mission Specialist Lisa Nowak takes a close look of the inside of space shuttle Discovery. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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"It's been great to train with this crew," said Lisa. "I'm ready to go and looking forward to a good mission."

During the test, the astronauts performed hands-on training tasks to get further acquainted with the hardware they'll be working with in space.

Mission Speciallist Piers Sellers during CEIT STS-121 will be the first spaceflight for mission specialists Mike Fossum, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson.

Image left: Astronaut Piers Sellers practices using a piece of equipment that will be on the mission. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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Piers Sellers, Mission specialist, took his first flight on orbiter Atlantis, mission STS-112 in October, 2002.

The crew eagerly climbed into, stretched above and crouched under the orbiter to become familiarized with as much of the vehicle as they could.

Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson during CEIT
Image right: Inside the Orbiter Processing Facility Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson works with equipment that will be on the mission. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter was unable to attend the test. Reiter will remain on orbit, working with the station crew.

Mission Specialist Mike Fossum during CEIT Image left: Mission Specialist Michael Fossum handles a working prototype of a camera that will be used on the mission. Image credit: NASA/KSC
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"We're just fortunate that we're living our dreams, there's a lot of work to do. We train hard and we work hard as a team," said first-time flyer Mike Fossum.

The launch of Discovery is slated for no earlier than May.

Elaine M. Marconi
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

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