Veteran astronaut-spacewalker Michael Lopez-Alegria, who was raised in Mission Viejo, has been assigned to spend six months aboard the International Space Station, where he'll serve as mission commander, NASA says on its Web site.
Lopez-Alegria, 47, also will serve as science officer when he arrives at the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September, NASA says.
Another OC resident will be on a Shuttle mission next year.
Caldwell, 36, will be part of a six-member crew that is expected to use shuttle Endeavour to carry a 3,900-pound section of space station framework that was built at Boeing-Huntington Beach. The shuttle also will transport supplies to the station, which is only half- finished.
NASA hasn't set a date for the flight, which will be Caldwell's first trip into space. But the mission is tentatively scheduled for June 2007 and could be historic. The crew also includes astronaut-educator Barbara Morgan, who was the backup for Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died when shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986.
I'm glad that Barbara Morgan will be on the flight also.