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NASA Sets Interviews With Astronauts From Recent ShuttleFlight


> Jan. 22, 2007
> Katherine Trinidad 
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-3749 
> James Hartsfield
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> 281-483-5111 

> HOUSTON - A month after returning from space, NASA astronauts Joan 
> Higginbotham, a Chicago native, and Bill Oefelein, an Alaska native, 
> are available for satellite interviews.
> Higginbotham is available Thursday, Jan. 25 from 6 to 8 a.m. CST. 
> Oefelein is available Friday, Jan. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. To participate 
> in the interviews, media should contact the NASA Johnson Space Center 
> newsroom in Houston at 281-483-5111 by Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.
> Higginbotham and Oefelein made their first spaceflight aboard 
> Discovery in December 2006 on STS-116, a 13-day mission to the 
> International Space Station to rearrange the complex's power and 
> cooling systems. During the flight, Higginbotham operated the 
> station's robotic arm and coordinated cargo transfers between the 
> shuttle and the station. Oefelein was Discovery's pilot and 
> coordinated four spacewalks from inside the station and shuttle.
> The mission brought online electricity generated by a second giant set 
> of solar panels added to the station during a September 2006 shuttle 
> flight. The changes almost doubled the electrical power available to 
> the station. Shuttle Discovery also carried a new crew member, Suni 
> Williams, to the station to begin a six-month stay. European Space 
> Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, who had been in orbit since July, 
> returned to Earth aboard Discovery.
> Higginbotham was born and raised in Chicago and received a bachelor's 
> degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ill. She also 
> has two master's degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology, 
> Melbourne, Fla. Before her selection as an astronaut in 1996, 
> Higginbotham spent nine years working at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, 
> Fla., overseeing various stages of shuttle launch preparation.
> Oefelein, a U.S. Navy commander, considers Anchorage, Alaska, his 
> hometown. He credits his youth in Alaska with helping foster his 
> interest in flying. While there, he obtained a private pilot's 
> license with a float plane rating. He attended the U.S. Navy Fighter 
> Weapons School, also known as TOPGUN, and became a Navy fighter and 
> test pilot. Oefelein has logged more than 3,000 hours in 50 different 
> types of aircraft.
> Oefelein received a bachelor's from Oregon State University, 
> Corvallis, Ore., and a master's from the University of Tennessee 
> Space Institute, Knoxville, Tenn.
> Higginbotham and Oefelein were joined aboard Discovery by STS-116 
> Commander Mark Polansky and mission specialists Bob Curbeam, Nicholas 
> Patrick, Williams and Christer Fuglesang, a European Space Agency 
> astronaut. 
> For Higginbotham's biographical information, visit: 
> http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/higginbo.html  
> For Oefelein's biographical information, visit: 
> http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/oefelein.html  
> The interviews will be carried live on the NASA TV analog satellite 
> AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude; transponder 5C, 3800 MHz, 
> vertical polarization, with audio at 6.8 MHz. B-roll video of 
> Higginbotham's training for the mission will air at 5:30 a.m. CST. 
> For NASA TV downlink, schedules and streaming video information, 
> visit:
> http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
> For more information about STS-116 and its crew, visit: 
> http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
> -end-
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