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Lead Space Station Flight Director Available for Live Interviews


HOUSTON -- The man who will lead NASAís mission control during the next space shuttle flight will be available for satellite interviews on NASA Television from 6 to 8 a.m. CDT on Friday, Aug. 3. Chicago native and veteran flight director Joel Montalbano will oversee space shuttle Endeavourís STS-118 mission to the International Space Station, targeted for launch Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Montalbano will preside over the most critical phases of Endeavourís mission, including installation of a new truss segment and a new spare parts platform and replacement of a control gyroscope. As lead space station flight director, Montalbano guides a team of flight directors, flight controllers, engineering experts and support personnel in NASAís Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

To interview Montalbano, media should contact Michael Hare at 281-483-8631 or the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 2 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Montalbano graduated from Iowa State University, Ames, in 1988 with a bachelorís degree in aerospace engineering. During the Shuttle-Mir Program and the International Space Station Program, Montalbano assumed a lead role in supporting joint activities with Russian space officials in Moscow. In 2002, he served as NASAís deputy and acting director for human spaceflight programs in Moscow. Montalbano was selected as a flight director in December 2002.

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