NASA astronaut Mark Kelly will resume training as commander of the STS-134 space shuttle mission on Monday, Feb. 7. With the exception of some proficiency training, Kelly has been on personal leave since Jan. 8 to care for his wife, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in a Tucson, Ariz. shooting.
"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Kelly said.
"We have been preparing for more than 18 months, and we will be ready to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station and complete the other objectives of the flight. I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew." "We are glad to have Mark back," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "He is a veteran shuttle commander and knows well the demands of the job.
We are confident in his ability to successfully lead this mission, and I know I speak for all of NASA in saying 'welcome back'. A news briefing will be held at 2 p.m. CST today at Johnson to discuss Kelly's return. The briefing will be broadcast on NASA Television. Questions will be taken from reporters at Johnson, NASA Headquarters and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Participants will include:
-- Mark Kelly, commander, STS-134
-- Peggy Whitson, chief, Astronaut Office
-- Brent Jett, chief,
Flight Crew Operations Directorate Because of winter weather conditions, Johnson will be closed until noon.
However, the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 is staffed to receive calls from journalists requesting credentials. On Monday, Feb. 7, NASA TV will broadcast video b-roll of Kelly's first training session with his crew at 11:30 a.m. CST. Additional b-roll of his first day of training will air at 3 p.m. The training sessions will not be available for filming by news media.