LOCKHEED MARTIN HOSTS NEW NASA ASTRONAUT CLASS
NEW ORLEANS, La., 18-OCT-04 -- Fresh from flight training in Houston and their first head-over-heels weightlessness experience, NASA's astronaut candidates will visit the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility and be available for interviews on Wednesday, October 20.
Reporters and photographers who wish to talk with the astronaut candidates should be at the Building 101 lobby at Michoud no later than 1:30 p.m. The news media will join the astronauts as they tour the Vertical Assembly Building and Final Assembly area.
The class numbers 11 candidates and three Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts who are training with the group. The class will see improvements being made to the Space Shuttle External Tank that Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] builds for NASA. The tanks are being retrofitted to propel the shuttle back into space sometime next year.
The class, based at Johnson Space Center, has spent the last month settling in and completing flight training. The candidates are now qualified in T-38 jets as either crewmembers or pilots.
The class includes three educator astronauts -- selected from 1,600 teachers across the country -- three military pilots, a Navy SEAL, an astrophysicist, two physicians and an engineer. Full biographies of the astronaut candidates are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/preparingtravel/ascan2004.html
Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Michoud Operations designs and assembles large aluminum and composite structures such as the Space Shuttle External Tank for aerospace and other applications at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.