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N° 39–2006: ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang gets ready for next Shuttle mission - Opening of media accreditation for NASA sites

24 October 2006

With NASA’s launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on flight STS-116 scheduled for the night of Thursday 7 to Friday 8 December at 01:38 GMT (02:38 CET) at the earliest, ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang of Sweden is set to become the first citizen of a Nordic country to fly to the International Space Station. Fuglesang is currently undergoing intensive training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to prepare for the mission.

Flight STS–116 is a very demanding undertaking and begins a series of complex missions scheduled to complete the construction of the Space Station. Two days after launch, Discovery will dock with the ISS and the seven Shuttle crew members will ingress into the Station. They will be welcomed by the three resident astronauts from the Expedition 14 crew, which includes ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany, who has been onboard since July.

The mission’s main objectives are to attach the P5 connector element of the integrated truss structure to the Station and to connect the power from two large electricity-generating solar array panels already onboard since September. The solar array panels will provide a permanent supply of electricity for the ISS, which has been running on a temporary electrical power system since it went into orbit in 1998.

During the twelve-day mission, Christer Fuglesang and his NASA counterpart Robert Curbeam will carry out two extra-vehicular activities (EVAs or spacewalks). During the first, the P5 truss structure will be installed. The main task during the second EVA is to rewire the power system for one half of the Station. The other half of the power system will be rewired during the third EVA, carried out by Robert Curbeam and Sunita Williams. The astronauts will head outside the ISS in their EVA suits and wait for mission control to switch off the ISS power. Once permission has been granted, they will unplug existing cables and plug them into new locations along the ISS.

Christer Fuglesang’s mission is called “Celsius” after Anders Celsius, the inventor of the thermometer. The famous Swedish astronomer had a deep impact on the daily lives of his contemporaries in the 18th Century, just as space exploration is changing the lives of all of us today.

After completing his twelve-day mission, Christer Fuglesang will return to Earth accompanied by Thomas Reiter, who will by then have completed his six-month Astrolab mission onboard the Station.

The Shuttle landing is scheduled for no earlier than 18 December at around 22:04 GMT (23:04 CET) at the Kennedy Space Center.

Media accreditation for the mission

NASA has opened media accreditation for the Space Shuttle Discovery's launch on the STS-116 mission to the ISS. The international media as well as US media must apply for credentials in order to attend the launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Media personnel may need to submit accreditation requests at multiple NASA facilities.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Media applying for credentials at Kennedy may submit requests via the web at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Media applicants must use work - not personal - email addresses when applying. Once accreditation is approved, they will receive confirmation via email. Accredited media will have access to launch dress rehearsal activities on 13-16 November, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), and to launch events. The STS-116 mission badge will be accepted for both events. For the TCDT activities, all media must apply for credentials by 6 November. For launch week events only, all media must apply by 27 November 2006.

Media with special logistical requests, such as space for trailers, electrical connections or work stations in the newsroom, must contact Laurel Lichtenberger at: laurel.a.lichtenberger@nasa.gov by 30 November.

Work space is provided on a first-come first-served basis. To set up temporary telephone, fax, ISDN or network lines, media organisations must make arrangements with BellSouth at: +1.865.694.2480. Media must have an assigned seat in the Kennedy newsroom prior to setting up lines. Media must have a public affairs escort to any Kennedy area except the Launch Complex 39 cafeteria.

Kennedy credentials will be honoured during the STS-116 mission at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston/Texas and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Media still should contact NASA Dryden public affairs for access to Edwards AFB.

Johnson Space Center, Houston/Texas

Media personnel may either present Kennedy STS-116 mission credentials or obtain Johnson Space Center credentials by calling the Center's newsroom at +1.281-483-5111. Those planning to cover the mission from Johnson only should apply to that Center only.

Deadlines for submitting Johnson accreditation requests: 14 November for non-US media, regardless of citizenship; 1 December for US media who are US citizens.

Media covering the mission from Johnson using KSC credentials must contact the Johnson newsroom by 1 December to arrange workspace, phone lines and other logistics. Johnson is responsible for credentialing media if the Shuttle lands at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico. If a landing there is imminent, credentials will be arranged by Johnson.

Dryden Flight Research Centre, California

Notice for a Shuttle landing at Dryden on Edwards Air Force Base could be short. Media should consider accrediting Los Angeles-based personnel who could travel quickly to Dryden.

Submit requests to Dryden Public Affairs by Wednesday 8 November for non-US media, regardless of citizenship; by Monday 11 December for US media who are US citizens.

Foreign media representatives, regardless of citizenship, must provide: full name, date of birth, place of birth, media organisation, driver’s license number including issuing country, citizenship, visa or passport number, expiration date and alien registration number if applicable.

Fax requests for Dryden accreditation on organisation letterhead to: +1.661-276-3566. Email requests to pao@dfrc.nasa.gov are acceptable for media who have been to Dryden within the past year. Requests must include a phone number and business email address for follow-up contact.

No substitutions of non-accredited media personnel are allowed at any NASA facility.

NASA Public Affairs contacts:

Kennedy: Jessica Rye, +1.321-867-2468

Johnson: James Hartsfield, +1.281-483-5111

Dryden: Leslie Williams, +1.661-276-3893

For information about the STS-116 mission or crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

For further information on Christer Fuglesang and the ESA astronauts corps:

http://www.esa.int/esaHS/eurastronauts.html

More on ESA at

http://www.esa.int

ESA Media Relations Office

Phone : +33(0)1.53.69.77.13

Fax : +33(0)1.53.69.76.90

Queries: media@esa.int

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33(0)1.53.69.7155
Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690



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