Veteran NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will be available Thursday, March 1, for final interviews before their launch to the International Space Station. The interviews will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Arnold will be available from 6 to 7 a.m. EST, and Feustel will be available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. The satellite interviews will originate from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, where Arnold and Feustel are undergoing final training and evaluation for their mission. NASA TV will air highlights of their training and previous missions from 5:30 to 6 a.m. and 7 to 7:30 a.m.

To interview Arnold or Feustel, media must contact Karen Svetaka at 281-483-8684 no later than 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Media participating in the interviews must tune to the NASA TV Media Channel (NTV-3). Satellite tuning information is available at:

Arnold and Feustel, along with cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will travel March 4 from Star City to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, for final pre-launch preparations. They are scheduled for a March 21 launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft.

After a two-day journey, they will arrive at the station and join fellow NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

During a planned five-month mission, the crew will take part in about 250 space station science investigations and technology demonstrations to advance our knowledge of Earth, space, physical and biological sciences. Science conducted in the orbiting laboratory continues to yield benefits for humanity and will enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.

NASA selected Arnold as an astronaut in 2004. The Maryland native worked in marine sciences and as a teacher in his home state and overseas, in countries including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. He spent 12 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes in space during space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 mission to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element for the space station. During that assembly mission to the station, he conducted two spacewalks totaling 12 hours, 34 minutes.

Arnold will continue NASA’s Year of Education on Station, arriving at the station shortly after NASA astronaut and former educator Joe Acaba departs. Arnold will participate in dozens of educational events while on orbit.

Feustel, a Michigan native, was selected as an astronaut in 2000, and has flown on two space shuttle flights. In 2009, he served on space shuttle mission STS-125, the final servicing mission for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Feustel also served on STS-134, the final flight of space shuttle Endeavour, to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the space station. He has logged more than 29 days in space and more than 42 hours on six spacewalks.

Arnold, Feustel and Artemyev are scheduled to return to Earth in late August.

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