Opening of media accreditation for next Shuttle mission at NASA

Space Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad 39B
Space Shuttle Discovery
9 February 2006

ESA INFO 01-2006. NASA media accreditation is open for the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-121. The possible launch window is 3 to 22 May from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter from Germany will be one of the crew members launched on this mission. He will remain on the International Space Station for up to six months and will become the first European to live and work on the ISS on a long-duration mission conducting an extensive ESA experimental programme as well as extra-vehicular activities (spacewalking) outside the Station.

Thomas Reiter, Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA)
Thomas Reiter, astronaut of the European Space Agency

Thomas Reiter is a member of the European Astronaut Corps, based at ESA's European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. Léopold Eyharts, from France, a member of the same Corps, will be the back-up for this mission. Reiter will reach the ISS on Space Shuttle flight STS-121, and return to Earth on flight STS-116, with another ESA astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, from Sweden, who will have reached the ISS on the same flight for a short-duration assembly mission. This will be Reiter's second long-duration mission on board a space station, following his six-month stay on the Soviet Union’s Mir, in 1995/96.

Accreditation procedures

All US and foreign media must apply for credentials. Media may need to submit accreditation requests at multiple NASA facilities.

European media should take note that the NASA procedure for accreditation outlined below will be applied very strictly. In particular, replacements will not be possible after the deadline, and ESA will not be in a position to obtain accreditation for incomplete or late requests.

The need for accreditation also applies to technical staff such as cameramen or sound technicians.

Finally, processing of accreditations takes about three weeks. If an accreditation is refused when the accreditation deadline is passed, it will not be possible to submit another request.

Kennedy Space Centre

Media applying for credentials at Kennedy may submit requests via the Web at

The deadline for all media to apply is 7 April 2006.

Accredited media will have access to a launch dress rehearsal (Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test) in late April and Discovery's entire mission. Media must use work, not personal, e-mail addresses when applying. Processing takes approximately three weeks. Once accreditation is approved, media will receive confirmation by e-mail. Badges will be available for collection as of 21 April.

Media with special logistic requests, such as space for trailers, electrical connections or work-stations in the newsroom, must contact Laurel Lichtenberger at: by 7 April.

Work stations are provided on a first-come first-served basis. To set up temporary telephone, fax, ISDN or network lines, media must make arrangements with Bell South at: (800) 213-4988. Media must have an assigned seat in the Kennedy newsroom prior to setting up lines. Media are required to have a public affairs escort to any Kennedy area, except the Launch Complex 39 cafeteria.

Kennedy credentials will be honoured during the STS-121 mission at NASA's Johnson Space Centre, Houston, and Dryden Flight Research Centre, Edwards AFB, California.

Johnson Space Centre

Media may either present Kennedy STS-121 mission credentials or obtain Johnson credentials by calling the Centre's newsroom at: (281) 483-5111. Media planning to only cover the mission from Johnson should apply only at the Centre.

Deadlines for submitting Johnson accreditation requests: 4 April, non-US media, regardless of citizenship; 20 April, US media representativeswho are US citizens.

Media covering the mission from Johnson using Kennedy credentials must contact the newsroom by 20 April to arrange workspace, phone lines and other logistics. Johnson is responsible for credentialing media if the shuttle lands at White Sands Space Harbor, N.M. If a landing is imminent at White Sands, credentials will be arranged.

Dryden Flight Research Centre

The Space Shuttle could land on short notice at Dryden. Submit requests for accreditation to Dryden Public Affairs by 24 March for non-US media, regardless of citizenship; 26 April, US media representatives who are US citizens.

US citizens representing domestic media must provide: full name, date of birth, place of birth, media organization, the last six digits of their social security number and driver's license number, including issuing state. In addition to the above, foreign media representatives, regardless of citizenship, must provide: citizenship, visa or passport number, expiration date, and alien registration number if resident alien.

Fax requests for Dryden accreditation on company letterhead to: (661) 276-3566. E-mail requests to are acceptable for media who have been to Dryden within the past year. Requests must include a phone number and business e-mail address for follow-up contact. No substitutions of non-credentialed media allowed.

For further information please contact :

ESA Media Relations contacts:

Franco Bonacina, Anne-Marie Remondin, Brigitte Kolmsee:
+ 33 1 53 69 71 55

ESA Media Relations– TV contacts:

Claus Habfast: + 31 71 565 38 38

NASA Public Affairs Contacts:

Kennedy: Bruce Buckingham, (321) 867-2468); Johnson: James Hartsfield, (281) 483-5111); Dryden: Leslie Williams, (661) 276-3893

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