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Off Topic, But Worth Noting
5/11/2009

HOUSTON: NASA astronaut Mark Polansky, commander of the next space shuttle mission to the International Space Station in June, is sharing updates about his training and flight on Twitter. He invites followers to submit video questions via YouTube that he will answer from orbit.

Polansky, a New Jersey native and former Air Force test pilot, will command the space shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-127, a flight targeted for launch June 13 to deliver the final portions of the space station's Japanese laboratory. While posting tweets about training, Polansky also will select video questions submitted by followers. The videos will be transmitted to orbit during the mission and answered live during a special event that will be broadcast on NASA Television and posted to Polansky's Twitter and YouTube pages. His Twitter handle is Astro_127.

Video questions should be no longer than 30 seconds, posted to YouTube and tweeted to Polansky at @Astro_127. From now through Endeavor's next launch, one or two questions will be selected each week to be answered from orbit.

Polansky's crewmates include Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Julie Payette and Tim Kopra. Wolf, Cassidy, Marshburn and Kopra will perform the mission's five spacewalks. Kopra will remain aboard the station after Endeavour departs as a flight engineer for Expedition 20. Koichi Wakata, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut, will return to Earth on Endeavour to conclude his three-month stay at the station.

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