NASA assigns crew for space mission

Aug. 4, 2008 at 12:30 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency has assigned a crew for space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-128 mission to the International Space Station set for launch next July 30.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Marine Corps Col. Frederick Sturckow will command the shuttle, with retired Air Force Col. Kevin Ford serving as pilot. NASA astronauts will be John Olivas, retired Army Col. Patrick Forrester, and Jose Hernandez, with European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang.

NASA said 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 into space. Stott and Kopra were previously assigned in February to station missions.

Atlantis will carry a multipurpose logistics module filled with science and storage racks to the station. Space agency officials said the mission will include three spacewalks to remove and replace a materials processing experiment outside ESA's Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly.

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