NASA will highlight the next crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft carrying astronauts to the International Space Station with a pair of virtual media briefings Wednesday, Oct. 6, and Thursday. Oct. 7.

The first briefing, at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 6, will present an overview of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission and discuss the upcoming crew rotation. This will be followed by a crew news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, with all four crew members.

The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. All media participation in the news briefings and interviews will be remote.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maureraboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the space station. The mission is scheduled to launch Saturday, Oct. 30, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This will be the final media opportunity to speak to the crew before they fly to Kennedy to prepare for launch. To participate in the briefings by phone or to request a remote interview with the crew members, reporters must contact Johnson’s newsroom at: 281-483-5111 or no later than noon Tuesday, Oct. 5. Those wanting to submit a question on social media may do so using #askNASA.

Crew briefings and participants include:

Wednesday, Oct. 6:

1 p.m. – Mission overview press conference, with the following participants:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Johnson
  • Dana Weigel, deputy manager, International Space Station, Johnson
  • Sarah Walker, director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX
  • Frank De Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA

Thursday, Oct. 7:

2 p.m. – Crew mission press conference with the following participants:

  • Raja Chari, spacecraft commander
  • Tom Marshburn, pilot
  • Kayla Barron, mission specialist
  • Matthias Maurer, mission specialist

3:30 p.m. – Round robin crew interviews

  • Crew-3 astronauts will be available for a limited number of remote interviews following the news conference.

Chari is commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-3 mission. He is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He also will serve as an Expedition 66 flight engineer aboard the station. This will be the first spaceflight for Chari, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017. He was born in Milwaukee, but considers Cedar Falls, Iowa, his h
ometown. He is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time in his career.

Marshburn is the pilot of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and second in command for the mission. He is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. Once aboard station, he will serve as an Expedition 66 flight engineer aboard station. Marshburn is a Statesville, North Carolina, native who became an astronaut in 2004. Prior to serving in the astronaut corps, the medical doctor served as flight surgeon at Johnson and later became medical operations lead for the International Space Station. The Crew-3 mission will be his third visit to the space station and his second long-duration mission. Marshburn previously served as a crew member of STS-127 in 2009 and Expedition 34/35, which concluded in 2013.

Barron is a mission specialist for Crew-3. As a mission specialist, she will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. Once aboard the station, she will become a flight engineer for Expedition 66. Barron was born in Pocatello, Idaho, but considers Richland, Washington, her hometown. She earned a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2010. She earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge, in England, in 2011, as Gates Cambridge Scholar. Barron earned her submarine warfare officer qualification and deployed three times while serving aboard the USS Maine. At the time of her selection as an astronaut candidate in 2017, she was serving as the flag aide to the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Maurer also will serve as a mission specialist for Crew-3, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. He will become a long-duration crew member aboard the space station. Maurer comes from Sankt Wendel, in the German state of Saarland. Like Chari, Maurer will be making his first trip to space with the Crew-3 mission. Before becoming an astronaut, Maurer held a number of engineering and research roles, both in a university setting and at ESA. In 2016, Maurer spent 16 days on an undersea mission as part of a NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, space analog.

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Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at: