NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-131. The STS-131 mission will deliver research and science experiment equipment, a new sleeping area and supplies to the station in a logistics module carried in the shuttle's payload bay.
Navy Capt. Alan Poindexter will command the shuttle Atlantis during STS-131, targeted for launch in February 2010. Air Force Lt. Col. James P. Dutton, Jr., will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Clayton Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki. Dutton, Metcalf-Lindenburger and Yamazaki will be making their first trip to space.
STS-131 will be the second spaceflight for Poindexter, who served as the pilot on STS-122. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He also has a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He was born in Pasadena, Calif.
Dutton joined NASA in 2004. His hometown is Eugene, Ore. He has a bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Mastracchio flew as a mission specialist on STS-106 and STS-118. He was born in Waterbury, Conn., and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Connecticut. He also has master's degrees in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and physical science from the University of Houston.
Anderson spent 152 days on the space station, as a flight engineer on Expedition 15. He launched to the station as part of the STS-117 crew and returned on the STS-120 mission. Anderson's hometown is Omaha, Neb. He has a bachelor's degree in physics from Hastings College, Neb., and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University.
Metcalf-Lindenburger was selected as an astronaut in 2004. She was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and considers Fort Collins her hometown. She has a bachelor's degree in geology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.
Wilson was born in Boston. This will be her third spaceflight. She flew as a mission specialist on STS-121 and STS-120. Wilson received a bachelor's degree in engineering science from Harvard University and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas.
Yamazaki was born in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. She holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Tokyo. Yamazaki was selected by National Space Development Agency of Japan (currently JAXA) as one of three astronaut candidates in 1999 and joined NASA's astronaut candidates for training in 2004.