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Dwayne Brown

Headquarters, Washington, DC June 25, 1999
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

NOTE TO EDITORS: N99-37

BRIEFINGS SET FOR LAUNCH OF NEXT
"GREAT OBSERVATORY" IN SPACE

NASA's next Space Shuttle flight will provide
astronomers with a new look at the universe and make history
with NASA's first female mission commander. Reporters can get
an overview of the mission at a series of briefings July 7.

The briefings will begin at 9 a.m. EDT at NASA's Johnson
Space Center in Houston. The five-day flight is scheduled for
launch no earlier than July 20.

STS-93 will be led by U.S. Air Force Colonel Eileen
Collins, the first woman to command an American space
mission. The flight's primary objective will be to deploy the
Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the third of NASA's Great
Observatories.

Collins and her crew of four will carry Chandra, the
heaviest payload ever deployed from the shuttle, into orbit
and deploy it approximately seven hours after launch. An
upper stage will carry the observatory to its final orbit,
more than one-third of the way to the Moon. Chandra will
allow scientists to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of
exploding stars, black holes and other exotic environments to
help them understand the structure and evolution of the
universe.
The first two briefings will provide an overview of
mission operations and science to be conducted by Chandra.
The NASA Television Video File will follow at noon. The crew
press conference will begin at 2 p.m. EDT.

The briefings will be carried live on NASA Television,
with question-and-answer capability for reporters covering
the event from participating NASA centers. NASA Television
is available on transponder 9C of the GE-2 satellite at 85
degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency 3880
MHz, audio of 6.8 MHz.

Media planning to attend the briefings must notify the
Johnson Space Center newsroom by June 28 to ensure proper
badging. Each reporter's name, affiliation and country of
citizenship should be faxed to the newsroom at 281/483-2000.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Reporters can schedule in-person or
telephone interviews STS-93 crew. These interviews will begin
at about 3:15 p.m. EDT. Media wishing to participate must
make their request to the Johnson Space Center Newsroom by
June 28.

STS-93 PREFLIGHT BRIEFINGS
July 7, 1999

9 a.m. EDT Mission Overview
Bryan Austin, STS-93 Lead Flight Director, Johnson Space Center
Fred Wojtalik, Chandra Program Manager, Marshall Space Flight Center,
Huntsville, AL
Ken Ledbetter, Director, Mission and Payload Development Division, NASA
Headquarters, Washington, DC

10:30 a.m. EDT Chandra Science Briefing
Dr. Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science, NASA
Headquarters
Dr. Alan Bunner, Chandra Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters
Dr. Martin Weisskopf, Chandra Project Scientist, Marshall Space Flight Center
Dr. Harvey Tananbaum, Director, Chandra X-Ray Center, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Kimberly Weaver, Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Noon EDT NASA TV Video File

2 p.m. EDT STS-93 Crew Press Conference
Eileen M. Collins, Mission Commander
Jeffrey S. Ashby, Pilot
Catherine G. Coleman, Mission Specialist -1
Steven A. Hawley, Mission Specialist-2
Michel Tognini, Mission Specialist-3

3:15 p.m. EDT STS-93 Crew Round Robins (not televised)

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