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Tue, Dec 09, 2003

NASA Thinking Ahead: Names Crew For Second Post Columbia Launch

Plans For STS-121 Come Together

Four NASA astronauts have been chosen to fly on the newly created Space Shuttle mission, STS-121. It is the mission following the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight.

Veteran astronaut Steven W. Lindsey (Col., USAF--pictured below) is the commander of STS-121. Mark E. Kelly (Cmdr., USN) is the pilot; Carlos I. Noriega (Lt. Col., USMC, Ret.) and Michael E. Fossum are the mission specialists. Other crewmembers will be named later.

STS-121 was added to the flight schedule to help accommodate the growing list of requirements originally assigned to the Return to Flight mission. The crew will re-supply the International Space Station with equipment and consumables. They will also continue the testing and development of new hardware and procedures designed to make Space Shuttle flight safer.

The crew recently began their pre-mission training together at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. Initial activities focus on general procedural training on Shuttle and Station systems, preliminary spacewalk development and robotics training.

Lindsey is a three-time Shuttle astronaut, including commanding the STS-104 mission in 2001. Kelly has flown in space once, and Noriega twice. Fossum is making his first trip.



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