NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy of Maine, who is making final preparations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for a March launch to the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 5 to 6 a.m. CST Friday, March 8.
The interviews will originate from Star City, and will be preceded at 4:30 a.m. by a video b-roll feed of Cassidy's mission training and previous spaceflight. To participate in the interviews, reporters should contact Karen Svetaka at 281-483-8684 no later than 1 p.m., Thursday, March 7. Cassidy is a Navy SEAL and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in worldwide deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan prior to joining NASA in 2004. Cassidy previously flew in space as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Endeavour on STS-127 in 2009.
On that mission Cassidy completed three spacewalks during the construction of the space station. Cassidy will launch with Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The trio is set to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:43 p.m. CDT March 28 (2:43 a.m. March 29 Baikonur time). They are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 11.
This launch will be the first time in the 12-year history of the space station a spacecraft carrying crew will dock to the outpost within hours of launching. Approximately six hours after launch, and several orbits around Earth, the crew will dock and enter the station.
When they arrive, the trio will join NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut and Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, who launched to the station in December 2012. The six-person crew will participate in several hundred experiments in biology and biotechnology, physical science and Earth science during their almost six month space mission.
NASA TV's Media Channel 103 will carry the b-roll and will be used to conduct the interviews. It is an MPEG-4 digital C-band signal, carried by QPSK/DVB-S modulation on satellite AMC-18C, transponder 3C, at 105 degrees west longitude, with a downlink frequency of 3760 MHz, vertical polarization, data rate of 38.80 MHz, symbol rate of 28.0681 Mbps, and 3/4 FEC. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception. The Compression Format is MPEG-4, Video PID = 0x1031 hex / 4145 decimal, AC-3 Audio PID = 0x1035 hex /4149 decimal, MPEG I Layer II Audio PID = 0x1034 hex /4148 decimal.
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Cassidy's biography is available at: http://go.nasa.gov/wQfxJe
For more information about Expedition 36 and 37, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/XCDQ6p
For information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station