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NASA to Host Preview Briefings, Interviews for First Crew Rotation Mission With SpaceX

NASA will highlight the first crew rotational flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station with a trio of news conferences beginning 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 29. The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. The full astronaut crew flying on the mission also will be available for interviews.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 flight mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct. 23, will carry astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the space station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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All media participation in these news conferences and interviews will be remote; no media will be accommodated at any NASA site. To participate in the briefings by phone or to request an interview with the crew members, reporters must contact Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

Briefings and participants include (all times EDT):

11 a.m. – NASA’s Commercial Crew Program News Conference with the following participants:

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Phil McAlister, director, Commercial Spaceflight Development, NASA Headquarters
  • Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX

12:30 p.m. – Crew-1 Mission Overview News Conference with the following participants:

  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Kenny Todd, deputy manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Anthony Vareha, NASA flight director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Benji Reed, director, Crew Mission Management, SpaceX
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA

2 p.m. – Crew News Conference with the following participants:

  • Astronaut Michael Hopkins, spacecraft commander, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
  • Astronaut Victor Glover, pilot, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
  • Astronaut Shannon Walker, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
  • Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission

3:30 p.m. – Round Robin Crew Interviews

  • Crew-1 astronauts will be available for a limited number of remote interviews following the news conference.

Following an Oct. 23 launch, the Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to arrive at the space station the same day to join NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, as well as Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

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Michael Hopkins is commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-1 mission. Hopkins is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He will also serve as an Expedition 64 flight engineer aboard the station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, Hopkins spent 166 days in space as a long-duration crew member of Expeditions 37 and 38 and completed two spacewalks totaling 12 hours and 58 minutes. Born in Lebanon, Missouri, Hopkins grew up on a farm outside Richland, Missouri. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois, and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Stanford University. Before joining NASA, Hopkins was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.

Victor Glover is the pilot of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and second-in-command for the mission. Glover is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. He also will be a long duration space station crew member. Selected as an astronaut in 2013, this will be his first spaceflight. The California native holds a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering, a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering, a Master of Science degree in systems engineering and a master’s degree military operational art and science. Glover is a naval aviator and was a test pilot in the F/A–18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and EA–18G Growler aircraft.

Shannon Walker is a mission specialist for Crew-1. As a mission specialist, she will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. She will also be responsible for monitoring timelines, telemetry, and consumables. Once aboard the station, Walker will become a flight engineer for Expedition 64. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004, Walker launched to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft as the co-pilot, and spent 161 days aboard the orbiting laboratory. More than 130 microgravity experiments were conducted during her stay in areas such as human research, biology, and materials science. A Houston native, Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Rice University in 1987, as well as a Master of Science degree and a doctorate in space physics, both from Rice University, in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

Soichi Noguchi will also be a mission specialist for Crew-1, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight, and keeping watch on timelines, telemetry and consumables. Noguchi will also become a long-duration crew member aboard the space station. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in May 1996. Noguchi is a veteran of two spaceflights. During STS-114 in 2005, Noguchi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside the space station. He performed a total of three spacewalks during the mission, accumulating 20 hours and 5 minutes of spacewalking time. He launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in 2009 to return to the station as a long-duration crew member. The Crew Dragon will be the third spacecraft that Noguchi has flown to the orbiting laboratory.

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