NASA has assigned the space shuttle crew for Endeavour's STS-126 mission, targeted for launch in September 2008. The flight will deliver equipment to the International Space Station that will enable larger crews to reside aboard the complex.
Veteran space flier Navy Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson will command Endeavour. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric A. Boe will serve as the pilot. The mission specialists are Navy Cmdr. Stephen G. Bowen, NASA astronaut Joan E. Higginbotham, Army Lt. Col. Robert S. Kimbrough and Navy Capt. Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper. Boe, Bowen and Kimbrough will be making their first spaceflight.
STS-126 will be the second spaceflight for Ferguson and Stefanyshyn-Piper, who flew together on STS-115 in September 2006. It also is the second flight for Higginbotham, who flew on STS-116 in December 2006.
Endeavour will carry a reusable logistics module that will hold supplies and equipment, including additional crew quarters, a second treadmill, equipment for the regenerative life support system and spare hardware.
Additionally, Endeavour will ferry Sandra Magnus up to serve as ISS crew, and will bring Gregory Chamitoff back to Earth.
CDR Bowen was originally scheduled to be part of the crew for mission STS-124, but was reassigned to STS-126 to "allow room for the STS-124 mission to rotate a space station resident, who will be named later." As I noted when the STS-124 crew was named, he will be the first bubblehead in space, having served as JO on USS Parche (SSN 683) and Pogy (SSN 647), as Eng on Augusta (SSN 710) and as PXO on Virginia (SSN 774) before being selected for the astronaut programme.
This will be the 22nd flight for Endeavour, the last space shuttle built, which made its first flight in May of '92 as STS-49.