The pilot of NASA’s next shuttle mission, Mark Kelly, is available for live satellite interviews from 6:40 to 8:40 a.m. EST, Thursday, Feb. 23. To participate, media must contact NASA’s Johnson Space Center newsroom at (281) 483-5111, by 3 p.m. EST, Wednesday.

Kelly is a New Jersey native. He will pilot the Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-121 mission, targeted for launch no earlier than May. Kelly and six other astronauts will travel to the International Space Station to continue evaluating flight safety procedures, including shuttle inspection and repair techniques.

Kelly, a veteran of one spaceflight, will fly with shuttle commander Steve Lindsey and mission specialists Piers Sellers, Mike Fossum, Stephanie Wilson and Lisa Nowak. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter is also part of the crew, and he will remain on the station for several months. For information about STS-121 on the Web, visit:

Kelly, a U.S. Navy commander, is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y. He received a master’s from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. For Kelly’s and NASA astronauts’ biographies on the Web, visit:

Kelly’s interviews will air 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.