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/483-5111) RELEASE: 96-22
February 2, 1996
CREW NAMED FOR FIFTH SHUTTLE/MIR DOCKING; COMMANDER FOR SIXTH U.S. Navy Captain Michael A. Baker will command the fifth scheduled Shuttle mission to dock with Russia's Space Station Mir (STS-81) and U.S. Air Force Colonel Charles J. Precourt will command the sixth (STS-84). On STS-81, set for December 1996, Astronaut John E. Blaha (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) will return from a five-month stay aboard the station and Dr. Jerry M. Linenger (Captain, Medical Corps, USN) will take his place aboard the orbiting laboratory for five months. Linenger will return on STS-84 and be replaced aboard Mir by C. Michael Foale, Ph.D. Other crew members named to join Baker, Blaha and Linenger on the STS-81 flight are Pilot Brent W. Jett, Jr. (Lt. Cdr., USN), and Mission Specialists John M. Grunsfeld, Ph.D., Marsha S. Ivins, and Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff, Ph.D. The remainder of Precourt's STS-84 crew will be named later. The fifth docking mission will carry the Spacehab double module providing additional middeck locker space for secondary experiments. During the five days of docked operations with Mir, the crews will transfer water and supplies from one spacecraft to the other. A spacewalk by Linenger and one of his Russian cosmonaut crewmates will be conducted during his stay on the space station
after Atlantis departs. The sixth docking mission, also carrying the Spacehab double module, will have Atlantis docked with the station for five days transferring supplies and experiments between the two spacecraft in addition to the astronaut exchange. Baker, 42, has flown three times on the Shuttle -- STS-43 aboard Atlantis in August 1991, STS-52 on Columbia in October 1992 and STS-68 on Endeavour in September/October 1994. Most recently he was director of operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, responsible for the coordination and implementation of mission operations activities for the Shuttle/Mir program. Baker earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering in 1975 from the University of Texas. He considers Lemoore, CA, his hometown. Precourt, 40, has flown on two space missions including the first docking of the Shuttle Atlantis to Mir on STS-71 in June/July 1995. His other mission was aboard Columbia in April/May 1993. He currently is director of operations for NASA in Star City, Russia, having replaced Baker last November. Precourt earned a master of science degree in engineering management from Golden Gate University in 1988 and a master of arts in national security affairs and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College in 1990. He considers Hudson, MA, his hometown. Jett, 37, just completed his first Shuttle mission, STS-72, which included two rendezvous. He has a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, earned in 1989. Jett considers Fort Lauderdale, FL, his hometown. Grunsfeld, 37, flew aboard Endeavour on the STS-67 mission in March 1995. He earned his master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees from the University of Chicago in 1984 and 1988,
respectively. Ivins, 44, will be making her fourth flight on the Shuttle. She flew on STS-32 aboard Columbia in January 1990, STS-46 on Atlantis in July/August 1992, and STS-62 on Columbia in March 1994. Most recently Ivins has supported launch and landing activities at the Kennedy Space Center as the lead for the Astronaut Support Personnel team. She earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1973. Wisoff, 37, flew on STS-57 on Endeavour in June/July 1993, and with Baker on STS-68 aboard Endeavour in September/October 1994. He earned a master of science and doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University in 1982 and 1986, respectively. Wisoff was born in Norfolk, VA. Blaha, 53, will complete his fifth flight into space. He flew on STS-29 aboard Discovery in March 1989, STS-33 also on Discovery in November 1989, STS-43 aboard Atlantis in August 1991 and STS-58 on Columbia in October/November 1993. He earned a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue Unviersity in 1966. Blaha was born in San Antonio, TX. Linenger, 41, flew on STS-64 aboard Discovery in September 1994. He earned his doctorate in medicine from Wayne State University in 1981. Linenger considers Eastpointe, MI, and Coronado, CA, his hometowns. Foale, 39, flew on STS-45 aboard Atlantis in 1992, Discovery's STS-56 mission in 1993 and most recently on the STS-63 mission in February 1995 which saw Discovery rendezvous with Mir, approaching to within 37 feet of the space station. He considers Cambridge, England, his hometown. Foale completed his doctorate in laboratory astrophysics at Cambridge University in 1982. - end -
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