06 August 2008

STS-128 (Atlantis) crew named

I somehow missed this NASA press release dated 16 July:
NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-128. The flight will carry science and storage racks to the International Space Station.

Marine Corps Col. Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow will command space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-128 mission, targeted for launch July 30, 2009. Retired Air Force Col. Kevin A. Ford will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are NASA astronauts John D. "Danny" Olivas, retired Army Col. Patrick G. Forrester, Jose M. Hernandez and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang. The mission will deliver a new station crew member, Nicole Stott, to the complex and return Tim Kopra to Earth. Ford, Hernandez and Stott will be making their first trips to space. Stott and Kopra were previously assigned in February to station missions.

Atlantis will carry a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science and storage racks to the station. The mission will include two spacewalks to remove and replace a materials processing experiment outside ESA's Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly.

This will be the 30th space flight for Atlantis, first used for mission STS-51-J (3-7 Oct 85), and the 128th shuttle flight. Atlantis is scheduled for one more mission after this, STS-131 (currently planned for Feb 2010).

Kopra will be taken to the ISS aboard the space shuttle Endeavour (mission STS-127), currently scheduled for launch in May of 2009.

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