NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Available for Interviews Before Space Station Launch

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA astronautPeggy Whitson will be available for live satellite interviews from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, on Thursday, Oct. 27, before her launch to the International Space Station. She will answer questions about her upcoming mission aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory from 7-8 a.m. EDT, airing live on NASA Television and streaming on the agency’s website.

Whitson, who considers Beaconsfield, Iowa, her hometown, is in Russia for final preparations prior to her launch on Nov. 15, U.S. time. The interviews will be preceded at 6:30 a.m. by 30 minutes of video clips highlighting her training.

To schedule an interview, media must contact Karen Svetaka at 281-483-8684 or [email protected] no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Media participating in the live shots must tune to NTV-3. Satellite tuning information is available at:

http://go.nasa.gov/1pOWUhR

Whitson will launch to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, along with her Expedition 50/51 crewmates, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and astronaut Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency).

During her stay in space, Whitson will become the first woman to have commanded the space station twice. During Expedition 16 in 2007, she became the first woman ever to command the station. That flight and her first mission to the space station, as a flight engineer for Expedition 5 in 2002, give her a current total of 377 days in space.

Whitson and her crewmates also will perform some 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations not possible on Earth. Among the experiments is Lighting Effects, which will investigate the impact of a new solid-state, light-emitting diode (LED) system on the crew’s circadian rhythms, sleep and cognitive performance. The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) experiment is scheduled to arrive at the station during the crew’s stay and will examine the physics, nature and dynamics of neutron stars.

Whitson is scheduled to return to Earth with Novitskiy and Pesquet in May.

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