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NASA News Conference, Media Availability with Next Space Station Crew

NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and their Russian crewmate Alexander Misurkinwill conduct a news conference.
NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and their Russian crewmate Alexander Misurkinwill conduct a news conference Wednesday, May 10.

NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and their Russian crewmate Alexander Misurkin, who are part of an upcoming International Space Station crew, will conduct a news conference and be available for media interviews Wednesday, May 10, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The news conference will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed on the agency website.

Acaba, a veteran astronaut, and Vande Hei, a first-time space flyer, as well as veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will launch to the space station aboard the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft Sept. 13, 2017, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will join the space station’s Expedition 53 and 54 crews, and return to Earth in March 2018.

The news conference will air live on NASA Television at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 10. Reporters who wish to participate by telephone must call Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 1:45 p.m. Those following the briefing on social media can ask questions using the hashtag #askNASA.

After the news conference, interview opportunities are available in person or by phone. To request credentials to attend in person or to reserve an interview opportunity, U.S. reporters must contact Johnson’s newsroom by 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 9.

During their planned five-month mission, the station crew members will take part in approximately 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations not possible on Earth in order to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical and biological sciences. Science conducted on the space station continues to yield benefits for humanity and will enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space, including Mars.

This will be Acaba’s third trip to the space station and his second long-duration mission. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004, and flew aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-119 mission to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element to the space station in 2009. He returned to the station for a longer stay in 2012, as part of the station’s Expedition 31 and 32 crews. He has logged a total of 138 days in space during two missions.

Born in Inglewood, California, Acaba grew up in Anaheim, California, He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology at University of California in Santa Barbara, one master’s degree in geology from the University of Arizona, and one in education, curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. Before coming to NASA, he spent time in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and the Peace Corps, worked as a hydrogeologist and taught high school and middle school.

Vande Hei was selected in 2009 as a member of the 20th NASA astronaut class and completed astronaut training in 2011. Prior to becoming an astronaut, the Virginia native earned a bachelor‘s degree in physics from Saint John’s University and a master of science in applied physics from Stanford University. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program and served as a combat engineer. In 1999, he became an assistant professor of physics at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. In 2006, Vande Hei served as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control, Houston, for Expeditions 15 through 20 and space shuttle missions STS-122, 123, 124, 126 and 127.

Find Acaba’s and Vande Hei’s full biographies at:

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Learn more about the International Space Station and its crews at: