Space shuttle mission STS-119 is scheduled to deliver solar panels and structural components to the international space station in February 2009, with two geoscientists aboard who have strong Arizona ties.
Mission Specialist Joseph Acaba [top] got his M.S. in Geology from the University of Arizona in 1992. According to NASA's bio, Acaba was raised in Anaheim, Calif. He earned a bachelor's geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has middle school and high school math and science teaching experience. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004.
Mission Specialist John Phillips [bottom] considers Scottsdale, Ariz., his hometown. He has logged more than 190 days in space, including STS-100 and Expedition 11 on the space station. He earned a bachelor's in mathematics and Russian from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., a master's in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida, Pensacola, and a master's and a doctorate in geophysics and space physics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He retired as a Navy reservist captain in 2002. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996.