Astronaut Joseph Acaba, who was born in Inglewood, Calif., will make his first journey into orbit on space shuttle Discovery's upcoming mission to the International Space Station. Acaba, a former teacher, is a mission specialist who was selected by NASA in 2004. He and his six crewmates are targeted to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 12 at 7:28 a.m. EST.
To cover the launch at Kennedy, U.S. reporters must request credentials by Jan. 29, and foreign reporters must do so by Jan. 15. Media should submit requests online at:
To request an interview with Mission Specialist Acaba, news media should contact NASA's Johnson Space Center newsroom in Houston at 281-483-5111 by Jan. 6.
During the 14-day flight, designated STS-119, Acaba will conduct two of the mission's four spacewalks. The shuttle will deliver the space station's fourth and final set of solar array wings, completing the station's backbone, or truss. The arrays will provide the electricity to power science experiments and increase the crew size to six in May. The shuttle also will deliver the first Japanese resident station crew member and bring back U.S. astronaut Sandra Magnus, who will have lived aboard the complex for more than three months.
Acaba graduated from Esperanza High School in Anaheim, Calif. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of California - Santa Barbara in 1990 and a master's degree in geology from the University of Arizona in 1992. He taught at Melbourne High School and Dunnellon Middle School in Florida.
For Acaba's complete biography, visit:
For the latest information about the STS-119 mission and crew, visit:
For more about the International Space Station, visit: