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Veteran Astronauts Available to Discuss Search for 2009 Class


HOUSTON -- NASA astronauts Dan Tani of Illinois and Suni Williams of Massachusetts, both past residents of the International Space Station, will be available to discuss what it takes to become an astronaut during satellite interviews on Wednesday, May 7.

Tani will be available from 5 to 8 a.m. CDT and Williams will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. NASA now is accepting applications for its 2009 astronaut class. The agency is looking for a diverse group of candidates who want to be part of the next generation of explorers. The deadline for applications is July 1.

To participate in the interviews, media should contact Lindsay Bromley at 281-483-2924 by 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 6.

Tani, who considers Lombard, Ill., his hometown, was selected as an astronaut in April 1996. He first flew on space shuttle mission STS-108 in 2001. He more recently served as the Expedition 16 flight engineer aboard the space station from October 2007 to February 2008. Tani has logged more than 131 days flying in space, including 32 hours and 38 minutes spacewalking.

Williams, who considers Needham, Mass., her hometown, was selected as an astronaut in June 1998. She served as a flight engineer aboard the space station for 195 days, launching on space shuttle mission STS-116 in December 2006, and returning to Earth aboard STS-117 in June 2007. She has accumulated 29 hours and 17 minutes walking in space.

NASA’s media channel will be used to conduct the interviews. The channel is located on satellite AMC 6, transponder 5C, which is located at 72 degrees west, downlink frequency 3785.5 Mhz, vertical polarity, FEC of 3/4th, symbol rate 4.3404 Mbaud.


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