NASA Assigns Crew for Shuttle Mission to Install Japanese Lab

March 23, 2007

NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-124, targeted for launch in February 2008. The flight will deliver the Pressurized Module and robotic arm of the Japanese Experiment Module, known as "Kibo" (hope), to the International Space Station.

Navy Cmdr. Mark E. Kelly will command the space shuttle Atlantis during the mission. Navy Cmdr. Kenneth T. Ham will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists will include NASA astronauts Karen L. Nyberg; Air Force Col. Ronald J. Garan, Jr.; Air Force Reserve Col. Michael E. Fossum; and Navy Cmdr. Stephen G. Bowen. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide also will serve as a mission specialist.

The STS-124 mission is the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Kibo laboratory. The mission will include two spacewalks to install the new lab and its remote manipulator system. The lab's logistics module, which will have been installed in a temporary location during STS-123, will be attached to the new lab.

The mission will be the third spaceflight for Kelly, the second spaceflight for Fossum and the first spaceflight for Ham, Garan, Nyberg, Bowen and Hoshide.

Kelly flew as the pilot of STS-108 in 2001 and STS-121 in 2006. He considers West Orange, N.J., to be his hometown. Kelly has a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, King's Point, N.Y., and a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996.

Ham was born in Plainfield, N.J. He has a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998.

Fossum performed three spacewalks during STS-121 in 2006. He grew up in McAllen, Texas, and has a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, and master's degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the University of Houston, Clear Lake. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998.

Garan was born in Yonkers, N.Y. He has a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College at Oneonta and master's degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla., and the University of Florida, Gainesville. Garan was selected as an astronaut in 2000.

Nyberg also was selected as an astronaut in 2000. She considers her hometown to be Vining, Minn. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bowen was born in Cohasset, Mass. He has a bachelor's from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master's from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Bowen also was selected as an astronaut in 2000.

Hoshide was born in Tokyo. He was selected by JAXA as one of three astronaut candidates in 1999 and certified by JAXA as an astronaut in 2001. He arrived at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, for training in 2004 and completed NASA Astronaut Candidate Training in 2006. He has a bachelor's degree from Keio University, Tokyo, and a master's degree from the University of Houston.

Source: NASA

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