NASA has named crews to resume training for the Space Shuttle missions designated STS-116 and 117. The missions are planned for launch to the International Space Station in 2006 to continue assembly of the orbiting laboratory.

Astronaut Mark Polansky will command STS-116. The mission will deliver and attach the Station’s third port truss segment. Joining Polansky is first-time pilot William Oefelein (Cmdr., USN); mission specialists Robert Curbeam (Cmdr., USN); Joan Higginbotham, and Nicholas Patrick, Ph.D. Christer Fuglesang, Ph.D., a Swedish astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA), rounds out the crew.

Polansky flew previously as pilot on STS-98, a 2001 station assembly mission. Curbeam served as mission specialist on STS-98 in 2001 and STS-85 in 1997. Oefelein, Higginbotham and Patrick are making their first space flights, as is Fuglesang.

Frederick Sturckow, (Lt. Col., USMC) will command STS-117. The mission will deliver the second starboard truss segment and energy systems to the Station. Pilot Lee Archambault (Lt. Col., USAF) joins Sturckow in the Shuttle’s cockpit. Mission specialists James Reilly II, Ph.D., Richard Mastracchio, Patrick Forrester, (Col., USA), and Steven Swanson, Ph.D., round out the crew.

Sturckow piloted the first Station assembly mission, STS-88 in 1998 and STS-105. For Archambault and Swanson, this is their first mission. Mastracchio flew on STS-106 in 2000 and Forrester on STS-105 in 2001. Reilly was a mission specialist on STS-89 in 1998 and STS-104 in 2001. For biographical information about the astronauts, visit:
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