NASA selected astronaut Steve Bowen as a mission specialist on STS-133, the next space shuttle mission targeted for launch on Feb. 24. Bowen replaces astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident over the weekend. The agency will hold a media teleconference at on Wednesday, Jan. 19, to discuss the change in crew personnel. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio
"Tim is doing fine and expects a full recovery, however, he will not be able to support the launch window next month," said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "If for some unanticipated reason STS-133 slips significantly, it is possible that Tim could rejoin the crew."
The crew change should not affect the mission's target launch date.
Bowen will begin training this week with the STS-133 crew, which includes Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Bowen also will train to perform the two planned spacewalks of the mission. He will join Alvin Drew to move a failed ammonia pump and perform other external configurations to the station.