Ed Campion/Ray Castillo Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1778) Kyle Herring Johnson Space Center, Houston

(Phone: 713/483-5111) RELEASE: 95-25

March 10, 1995

ASTRONAUT BAKER TO REPLACE SEGA AS NASA MANAGER IN RUSSIA Astronaut Michael A. Baker (Captain, USN), will replace Ronald M. Sega, Ph.D., as the NASA manager of operational activities at Star City, Russia, near Moscow. The transition coincides with the launching March 14 of Norman E. Thagard and two cosmonauts aboard a Soyuz rocket for a three-month stay aboard Russia's space station Mir. As Director of Operations, Russia, Baker will support training and preparations of NASA astronauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), Star City. He also will be the primary interface between NASA and the GCTC management, coordinating all training and other operations including NASA or contractor personnel in Star City. Baker, the fourth astronaut to serve in this rotational assignment, will continue to establish operational and personal relationships with Star City management and the cosmonauts, which are pivitol to successful, long-term joint operations involving NASA, the Russian Space Agency (RSA) and GCTC. He also will participate in personal training designed to acquaint astronauts with the operational aspects of Russian vehicles and training facilities.

Baker will join fellow astronauts Shannon W. Lucid, Ph.D., and John E. Blaha (USAF Colonel, Ret.) who have been training in Star City since February as the prime and backup crew members for a five-month flight aboard Mir. Lucid will be launched aboard Atlantis' STS-76 mission in the spring of 1996. It will be the third Shuttle mission to dock with the Russian space station. -more-

-2Baker, 41, has flown three times on the Shuttle -- STS43 in August 1991, STS-52 in October 1992, and most recently on STS-68 in September/October 1994. He received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in 1975. Sega, 42, flew on Discovery's STS-60 mission in February 1994, the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission. He has served in Star City since November 1994 and will return to an assignment in the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center. Sega received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1982. -endNASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.