Astronaut Ben Drew assigned to STS-118

May 3, 2007

Astronaut and Air Force Col. Benjamin Drew has been assigned to the STS-118 space shuttle mission, targeted for an August launch, NASA said in Houston.

Drew, a Washington native, will take a seat on the Aug. 9 mission that opened when astronaut Clayton Anderson was moved to shuttle Atlantis' STS-117 flight, scheduled to launch June 8. Anderson will begin a long-duration mission on the International Space Station, with current station crew member Suni Williams returning to Earth aboard Atlantis, National Aeronautics and Space Administration controllers said.

Shuttle Endeavour will carry Drew on his first spaceflight. He will serve as a mission specialist during STS-118, which will deliver another segment to continue the space station's construction.

Navy Cmdr. Scott Kelly will serve as STS-118's commander, with Marine Corps Lt. Col. Charles Hobaugh assigned as the pilot. Also assigned to STS-118 are Tracy Caldwell, Rick Mastracchio, Barbara Morgan and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dave Williams.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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