From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011
HOUSTON -- As the final space shuttle training simulations take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the agency is giving journalists an unprecedented view of the crew and Mission Control team training for the upcoming STS-135 mission.
On Thursday, June 16, news media representatives can witness one of the final launch and ascent simulations conducted by the STS-135 crew, flight controllers and simulation and training teams. The Johnson badging office opens at 6 a.m. CDT and journalists should arrive early to be ready for transportation to the training site at 7 a.m.
Reporters will be able to photograph the crew getting into the motion-based shuttle simulator and gather behind-the-scenes interviews and footage with the teams that train the astronauts before launch. Flight controllers who oversee the shuttle's performance from the ground also will be available.
Filming and photographs will be allowed using only available light inside both the simulation control rooms and the space shuttle flight control room in the Mission Control Center. Reporters also will be able to listen to and record conversations between the crew and mission control, as well as between the flight director and his team as they work through mock shuttle launches.
Following the simulation, STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim and STS-135 Ascent Flight Director Richard Jones will be available for a question-and-answer session in mission control. NASA Television will air the event live at 1 p.m. The training team will be available for interviews afterward.
On Friday, June 17, the space shuttle and space station flight controllers will practice the shuttle's final rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station. Reporters should arrive at Johnson's badging office by 10:30 a.m. for transportation to the training facility.
Journalists will have access to Johnson's fixed-based shuttle simulator and can witness the STS-135 crew preparing for a mock terminal initiation burn and getting the shuttle ready for docking with the station. At noon, news media representatives will be escorted to mission control to tour the space shuttle flight control room and the space station training version. The flight control team will be practicing the shuttle's backflip as it approaches the station and the docking. Reporters will have access to the front of the room and can listen to the flight director's audio and the air-to-ground transmissions from the shuttle crew. The simulated docking is expected to begin at 2 p.m.
Both training events will be recorded for broadcast on NASA TV. The schedule is below.
1 p.m. - Question-and-answer session with STS-135 crew and flight
control team in space shuttle flight control room
2 p.m. - Replay of STS-135 ascent simulation
3:30 p.m. - Replay of STS-135 rendezvous simulation with shuttle and
station flight control teams
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For more information about the mission and crew, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/STS-135
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