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WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The next crew to launch to the International Space Station, including NASA astronaut Terry Virts, will participate in a news conference and media interviews Thursday, Sept. 18, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The news conference will air live on NASA Television at 2 p.m. EDT.
Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, and Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency will launch to the space station Nov. 23 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.
Reporters who wish to participate by telephone must call Johnson's newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 1:45 p.m. Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using the hashtag #askNASA.
Video of the crew training will air before the news conference at 1:30 p.m.
After the news conference, interview opportunities with individual crew members will be available for media participating in person, by phone or online. To request credentials to attend in person, or to reserve an interview opportunity, media must contact Johnson's newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16.
Virts, Cristoforetti and Shkaplerov will serve as flight engineers for Expedition 42 until March, at which time Virts will assume command of Expedition 43. The trio is scheduled to return to Earth in May 2015.
A colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Virts grew up in Baltimore. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Harvard Business School. As an Air Force pilot, Virts flew the F-16 aircraft, and served as an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, California. He has accumulated 4,300 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.
Virts joined NASA in 2000 and served as pilot for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission to the space station in February 2010. The flight delivered the Tranquility module and the cupola to the station. Tranquility now is the life-support hub of the space station, containing exercise equipment, and water recycling and environmental control systems, while the cupola provides a panoramic view of our planet and affords crews a direct view of station robotic operations. To date, Virts has logged 13 days and 18 hours of spaceflight.
The Expedition 42 crew members will share their flight experiences on Instagram. Those interested can follow along at:
Follow the crew members on Twitter at:
For Virts' full biography, visit:
For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:
For more information about the International Space Station, its crews and research, visit:
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