Factbox: Crew aboard space shuttle Discovery

(BestGrowthStock) – Space shuttle Discovery’s seven-member crew is scheduled to spend 13 days in space to help ready the International Space Station for operations after the shuttle program is retired later this year.

Here’s a brief look at the crew:

— Commander and U.S. Navy Captain Alan Poindexter, 48, of Pasadena, California. Graduate of Georgia Tech and Naval Postgraduate School.

Married, with two children, Poindexter is the son of John Poindexter, National Security Adviser under President Ronald Reagan. He has made one previous spaceflight.

— Pilot and U.S. Air Force Colonel James Dutton, 41, of Eugene, Oregon. Graduate of U.S. Air Force Academy and University of Washington in Seattle. Married with four sons, Dutton was selected as an astronaut in 2004. He is making his first spaceflight.

— Flight engineer Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, 34, of Fort Collins, Colorado. A former high school science teacher, Metcalf-Linderburger graduated from Whitman College in Washington and received her teaching certification from Central Washington University.

Married with one child she was selected as an astronaut — one of three teachers currently in the corps — in 2004. She is making her first flight.

— Lead spacewalker Rick Mastracchio, 50, of Waterbury, Connecticut. Graduated from University of Connecticut, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of Houston-Clear Lake. Worked as systems design engineer with Hamilton Sunstrand before joining NASA as software engineer. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Mastracchio is making his third spaceflight.

— Spacewalker Clay Anderson, 51, of Ashland, Nebraska. Graduated from Hastings College in Nebraska and Iowa State University. Married with two children. Spent five months aboard the International Space Station as a member of the Expedition 15 crew. Anderson is making his second spaceflight.

— Stephanie Wilson, 43, of Boston. Graduated from Harvard and University of Texas. Hired by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to work on the Galileo Jupiter space probe and other programs. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Wilson has made two previous spaceflights.

— Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, 39, of Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Graduated from the University of Tokyo and joined Japan’s space agency to help develop its space station laboratory. Married, with one child, Yamazaki was selected as an astronaut in 1999. Trained to serve as Russian Soyuz flight engineer and NASA mission specialist. She is making her first spaceflight.

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(Writing by Irene Klotz; Editing by Tom Brown)

Factbox: Crew aboard space shuttle Discovery