NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams Available for Media Interviews before Launch to Space Station
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams will take time out of the final preparations for his launch to the International Space Station for live satellite media interviews from 7 to 8 a.m. EST Monday, Feb. 29, to discuss his upcoming mission aboard the world’s only orbiting laboratory. These interviews will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Williams will participate in the interviews from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, following a 30-minute b-roll feed on NASA TV highlighting his previous missions and ground training, which begins at 6:30 a.m.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams takes part in certification and training in the Space Station airlock test article at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in preparation for his launch to the International Space Station on March 18, 2016.
To participate, media must contact Karen Svetaka at 281-483-8684 or firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. Media participating in the live shots must tune to NTV-3. Satellite tuning information is available at: http://go.nasa.gov/1pOWUhR
A native of Winter, Wisconsin, Williams will launch to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on March 18 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, along with crewmates Oleg Skriprochka and Alexey Ovchinin, cosmonauts with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
This mission will be Williams’ fourth spaceflight and third long-duration stay on the space station, a first for an American, and will be his first return to the station since its completion in 2011.
Williams served as the flight engineer and lead spacewalker for space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-101 mission in 2000. He was a flight engineer for space station’s Expedition 13 in 2006, when the station had only two modules and three crew members. In 2009 and 2010, he served as a flight engineer on Expedition 21 and commanded Expedition 22, when the Tranquility module and cupola were added to the station. During that mission, he also became the first astronaut to interact live with NASA’s social media fans and followers.
During his upcoming six-month mission, Williams will become the American with the most cumulative days in space — 534 — surpassing Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly, who will wrap up his one-year mission on March 1.
Williams also is expected to be at the station for arrivals of two American cargo spacecraft — the SpaceX Dragon and Orbital ATK Cygnus — as well as the deployment of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), a demonstration of expandable habitat technology that will be attached to the station for two years.
After arriving at the station, Williams, Skriprochka and Ovchinin will join Expedition 47 NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake. Together, they will facilitate about 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations, which aren’t possible on Earth, to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical and biological sciences that will benefit humanity. Station research also will enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space and on the agency’s journey to Mars.
Williams is scheduled to return to Earth with Skripochka and Ovchinin in September.