NASA Amends Crew Assignment for STS-126 Mission

Nov 21, 2007

NASA has replaced a crew member assigned to space shuttle mission STS-126. Astronaut Donald R. Pettit will take the place of astronaut Joan E. Higginbotham, who has left NASA to accept a position in the private sector. The mission is targeted to launch in September 2008 and will deliver equipment to the International Space Station enabling larger crews to reside aboard the complex.

Higginbotham flew as a mission specialist on STS-116 in December 2006. She began her career at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in 1987, contributing to 53 space shuttle launches. She was selected as an astronaut in 1996.

"Joan has done a tremendous job as an astronaut during the past 11 years," said Steve Lindsey, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. "She contributed her expertise to nearly every space shuttle and International Space Station mission. She will be missed, but we wish her the very best in her future endeavors."

The STS-126 mission will be Pettit's second spaceflight. Pettit will serve as a mission specialist aboard shuttle Endeavour. He joins previously named crew members Commander Christopher J. Ferguson, Pilot Eric A. Boe and mission specialists Stephen G. Bowen, Robert S. Kimbrough and Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper.

Pettit first flew as a crew member of Expedition 6, logging more than 161 days in space, including more than 13 hours during two spacewalks. He launched to the station aboard shuttle mission STS-113 in November 2002 and returned to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft in May 2003. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996.

Source: NASA

Explore further: New Horizons spacecraft experiences anomaly

Related Stories

Working out in artificial gravity

9 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

Me and my world: The human factor in space

Jul 01, 2015

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Russian cosmonaut sets record for most time in space

Jun 30, 2015

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who is the current commander of the International Space Station, has set a new record for most time spent in space, with a total of 803 days, Russian space agency said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Uranus' moon Titania

1 hour ago

Like all of the Solar Systems' gas giants, Uranus has an extensive system of moons. In fact, astronomers can now account for 27 moons in orbit around Uranus. Of these, none are greater in size, mass, or surface ...

Image: Europa's blood-red scars

1 hour ago

Jupiter's moon Europa is a bizarre place. There is something undeniably biological about this image, sent back by NASA's Galileo spacecraft – the moon is scarred by deep red gashes, resembling the vibrant ...

A giant Pac-Man to gobble up space debris

2 hours ago

The Clean Space One Project has passed a milestone. The space cleanup satellite will deploy a conical net to capture the small SwissCube satellite before destroying it in the atmosphere. It's one of the solutions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.