NASA Assigns Crew for Equipment Delivery Mission to Space Station
NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-128. The flight will carry science and storage racks to the International Space Station.
Marine Corps Col. Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow will command space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-128 mission, targeted for launch July 30, 2009. Retired Air Force Col. Kevin A. Ford will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are NASA astronauts John D. "Danny" Olivas, retired Army Col. Patrick G. Forrester, Jose M. Hernandez and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang. The mission will deliver a new station crew member, Nicole Stott, to the complex and return Tim Kopra to Earth. Ford, Hernandez and Stott will be making their first trips to space. Stott and Kopra were previously assigned in February to station missions.
Atlantis will carry a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science and storage racks to the station. The mission will include three spacewalks to remove and replace a materials processing experiment outside ESA's Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly.
Sturckow flew as the commander of STS-117 in 2007, and was the pilot of STS-105 in 2001 and STS-88 in 1998. He considers Lakeside, Calif., his hometown. Sturckow has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He was selected as an astronaut in 1994.
Ford considers Montpelier, Ind., his hometown. He has a bachelor's in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame, master's degrees in international relations from Troy State University in Alabama and aerospace engineering from the University of Florida, and a doctorate in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He was selected as an astronaut in 2000.
Olivas flew as a mission specialist and conducted two spacewalks during STS-117 in 2007. He was raised in El Paso, Texas. Olivas has a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas-El Paso, a master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998.
Forrester flew as a mission specialist on STS-117 in 2007 and on STS-105 in 2001. He has conducted four spacewalks. He was born in El Paso, Texas. Forrester has a bachelor's in applied sciences and engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and a master's in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996.
Hernandez considers Stockton, Calif., his hometown. He has a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of the Pacific and a master's in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Santa Barbara. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004.
Fuglesang flew as a mission specialist and conducted three spacewalks on STS-116 in 2006. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Fuglesang has a master's in engineering physics from the Royal Institute of Technology and a doctorate in experimental particle physics from the University of Stockholm. He was selected to join the ESA astronaut corps in 1992 and began training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1996.