Press Release

NASA Holds Briefing With First Female Station Commander and Crew

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2007
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NASA Holds Briefing With First Female Station Commander and Crew

HOUSTON – The next visitors to the International Space Station will discuss their upcoming flight during a news conference at 2 p.m. CDT Monday, July 23. The Expedition 16 crew includes Commander Peggy Whitson, the first female to lead a long-duration spaceflight.

The news conference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, will be broadcast live on NASA Television with questions taken from media at other NASA facilities. Reporters should call their local NASA center to confirm its participation in the event.

In October, Whitson, Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who is from Malaysia, will launch on a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Shukor is flying under an agreement with Russia. Shukor will return to Earth with Expedition 15 crew members Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov after nine days aboard the station.

During their six months in space, veterans Whitson and Malenchenko will be joined by Expedition 16 flight engineers Dan Tani, Leopold Eyharts of the European Space Agency and Garrett Reisman.

After Monday’s news conference, Expedition 16 crew members will be available for round-robin interviews. Shukor will take part in the news conference but not the interviews. Media may arrange participation by phone or in person by contacting Gayle Frere at 281-483-8645 by 5 p.m. on July 20.

Tani will begin his work with the expedition during space shuttle Discovery’s STS-120 mission, targeted for launch Oct. 20. Space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 mission, which is targeted for launch Dec. 6, will deliver Eyharts to the outpost and return Tani to Earth. Reisman will head to the station on space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-123 mission, targeted for launch Feb. 14, 2008. He will replace Eyharts and return to Earth on a later shuttle flight.

For NASA TV downlink, schedules and streaming video information, visit:

For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.