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NASA to Host Briefings, Interviews for Next Crew Rotation Mission with SpaceX

NASA to Host Briefings, Interviews for Next Crew Rotation Mission with SpaceX

The crew for the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, SpaceX Crew-2, trains inside a mockup of the vehicle at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
Credits: SpaceX

NASA FEBRUARY 23,2021: NASA will highlight the second crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station with a pair of news conferences beginning 12:30 p.m. EST Monday, March 1. The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The full astronaut crew flying on the mission also will be available for interviews.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission will carry astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA, Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket to the space station. The mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than April 20 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

All media participation in these news conferences and interviews will be remote; no media will be accommodated at any NASA site. To participate in the briefings by phone or to request an interview with the crew members, reporters must contact Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov no later than 12 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25.

Briefings and participants include (all times Eastern):

12:30 p.m. – Crew-2 Mission Overview News Conference with the following participants:

  • Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA
  • David Parker, director, Human and Robotic Exploration, ESA

2 p.m. – Crew News Conference with the following participants:

  • Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, spacecraft commander, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission
  • Astronaut Megan McArthur, pilot, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission
  • Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission
  • Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission

3:30 p.m. – Round Robin Crew Interviews

  • Crew-2 astronauts will be available for a limited number of remote interviews following the news conference.

Shane Kimbrough is commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-2 mission. Kimbrough is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He also will serve as an Expedition 65 flight engineer aboard the station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004, Kimbrough first launched aboard space shuttle Endeavour for a visit to the station on the STS-126 mission in 2008, then aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for Expedition 49/50 in 2016. He has spent a total of 189 days in space, and performed six spacewalks. Kimbrough also is a retired U.S. Army colonel and earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a master’s degree in operations research from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Megan McArthur is the pilot of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and second-in-command for the mission. McArthur is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. She also will be a long-duration space station crew member, making her first trip to the space station. Selected as an astronaut in 2000, McArthur launched on space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, in 2009. McArthur operated the shuttle’s robotic arm over the course of the 12 days, 21 hours she spent in space, capturing the telescope and moving crew members during the five spacewalks needed to repair and upgrade it. She holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego.

Akihiko Hoshide is a mission specialist for Crew-2. As a mission specialist, he will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. Once aboard the station, Hoshide will become a flight engineer for Expedition 65. Hoshide joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently JAXA) in 1992 and was selected as an astronaut candidate in February 1999. Hoshide is a veteran of two spaceflights. In June 2008, he flew to the International Space Station on the STS-124 mission to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” to the International Space Station. From July to November 2012, he stayed on the space station for 124 days as a flight engineer for the Expedition 32/33 mission. The Crew Dragon will be the third spacecraft that Noguchi has flown to the orbiting laboratory.

Thomas Pesquet will also be a mission specialist for Crew-2, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. Pesquet also will become a long-duration crew member aboard the space station. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by ESA in May 2009 and worked as a Eurocom, communicating with astronauts during spaceflights from the mission control center. He previously flew as part of Expeditions 50 and 51, launching aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and spending 196 days in space. His mission also included two spacewalks to maintain the station: one to replace batteries on an electrical channel, and one to fix a cooling leak and service the robotic arm.

Follow Kimbrough on social media at:

https://twitter.com/astro_kimbrough

Follow McArthur on social media at:

https://twitter.com/Astro_Megan

Follow Hoshide on social media at:

https://twitter.com/Aki_Hoshide

Follow Pesquet on social media at:

https://twitter.com/Thom_astro

Learn more about the Commercial Crew Program at:

https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

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SK Vyas

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