3 May 2011

Space Shuttle crew to visit Christchurch

4:32 am on 3 May 2011

The crew of the space shuttle Discovery is coming to New Zealand on 21 May to show their support for Christchurch.

The six astronauts - five men and one woman - were on the shuttle's final mission to the International Space Station between 24 February and 9 March.

Organiser of their visit Ree Varcoe says the astronauts are enthusiastic about the trip and are keen to help focus international attention on Christchurch and the earthquake relief appeal.

Ms Varcoe says the shuttle crew will spend time talking to school children and will makes themselves available to the public as much as possible.

Before going to Christchurch, she says the crew will spend five days in Hamilton with Ms Varcoe, who is a friend of the Discovery pilot, Colonel Eric Boe.