NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, crew member of upcoming mission, sustains injury

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra sustained an injury over the weekend that could jeopardize his Space Shuttle flight later this year.
Image: NASA.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, a crew member on the upcoming STS-133 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS), sustained an injury in a bicycle accident over the weekend, possibly breaking his hip. His injury could create difficulties for him, the lead space-walker on the STS-133 mission, and the rest of the crew in their training for the mission. The mission is currently scheduled to launch on February 24.

Although Kopra is expected to make a full recovery from his injury, NASA says there is a possibility that his duties on the upcoming mission to the ISS could be modified. "Mission Specialist Tim Kopra was injured Saturday in a bicycle accident, but he will be OK. There could be an impact to his duties for shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station. That possibility still is being evaluated," said NASA in a statement to the press on Monday.

Kopra's injury comes amidst technical troubles with Space Shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. While technicians work to solve the problems with the fuel tank, the rest of the STS-133 crew continue to train for their mission at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.