Press Release

NASA Assigns Crew for Columbus Shuttle Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
July 20, 2006
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NASA Assigns Crew for Columbus Shuttle Mission

NASA has assigned crew members to the space shuttle mission that will deliver the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station.

A veteran space flier, Navy Cmdr. Stephen N. Frick, will command the STS-122 shuttle mission to deliver the lab to the station. Navy Cmdr. Alan G. Poindexter will serve as pilot. Mission specialists include Air Force Col. Rex J. Walheim, Stanley G. Love, Leland D. Melvin and European Space Agency astronaut Hans Schlegel. Poindexter, Love and Melvin will be making their first spaceflight.

STS-122 will be Frick’s second spaceflight. A native of Gibsonia, Pa., he served as pilot of shuttle mission STS-110, a flight to the station in 2002. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. Poindexter, a Pasadena, Calif., native, also has a master’s from the Naval Postgraduate School and a bachelor’s from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

Walheim, who considers San Carlos, Calif., his hometown, also flew on shuttle mission STS-110 in 2002 and is a veteran of two spacewalks. He has a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s from the University of Houston. Melvin is a native of Lynchburg, Va., and has a bachelor’s from the University of Richmond and a master’s from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Love, a Eugene, Ore., native, has a bachelor’s from Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif., and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Washington. Schlegel, a native of Aachen, Germany, has a master’s degree from the University of Aachen. His first flight was on shuttle mission STS-55 in 1993.

Video of the STS-122 crew members will air on NASA TV’s Video File. Video File airs on the Media Channel (Program 103) at 6-8 and 9-11 a.m.; 12-2 and 4-7 p.m.; and 10 p.m.-midnight. All times are Eastern. For NASA TV downlink and scheduling information and links to streaming video, visit:

For complete astronaut biographical information, visit:

For more information about NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, visit:


SpaceRef staff editor.