Minnesota native and NASA astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper, set to journey to space for the first time in late August aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, is available for satellite interviews from 7-8 a.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 3.

Piper will conduct two spacewalks during the flight, designated shuttle mission STS-115 and planned to resume the construction in orbit of the International Space Station. It will mark the start of a series of space flights to complete assembly of the International Space Station that will be as complex and challenging as any in history.

To participate in the Aug. 3 interviews, media should contact NASA’s Johnson Space Center newsroom at (281) 483-5111 by 3 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, Aug. 1. Piper’s 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.

Piper was born in St. Paul, Minn. and received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984, and a master’s in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1985.

Aboard Atlantis, Piper will help deliver and install a 17-ton segment of the station’s truss backbone that will include giant solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics. The delivery sets the stage for more science laboratories to be added to the complex. The mission will include three spacewalks conducted by two different teams. Piper and Joe Tanner will perform the first and third spacewalks. Astronauts Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean will conduct the second. For information about STS-115 on the Web, visit:


For NASA astronaut biographical information on the Web, visit: