Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1726) Doug Petersen Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (Phone

: 281/483-5111) RELEASE: 99-108

Sept. 24, 1999

CULBERTSON AND PARAZYNSKI LEND EXPERTISE TO SPACE STATION CREWS Frank L. Culbertson, who has been leading NASA's efforts in the Shuttle-Mir program and the International Space Station, will return to space to command the third crew to live and work aboard the space station. Culbertson, a retired U.S. Navy captain, was the Deputy for Operations, International Space Station Program Office, at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. He headed the Shuttle/Mir Phase 1 Program, in which Shuttle missions to the Russian Mir space station prepared the United States and Russia to work together as part of the International Space Station. Culbertson piloted the STS-38 mission in 1990 and commanded STS-51 in 1993. "Frank brings a wealth of expertise to this mission," said Jim Wetherbee, director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson. "His flight experience and unique perspectives on both Phase 1 and the Space Station programs make him well qualified to lead Expedition Three." Culbertson replaces astronaut Ken Bowersox, a U.S. Navy captain, who continues to train as commander of the back-up crew for the first expedition mission in early 2000. Culbertson joins Russian Space Agency cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Turin, who were previously named to the flight. "This reassignment allows us to make the best use of our resources and to ensure each of these crews is at peak readiness for these missions," Wetherbee said. "This allows the crews to devote themselves to specific tasks that are unique to each expedition." The reassignment resulted from changes in the mission

requirements for the two crews. The initial mission requirements, particularly with the U.S.-provided airlock module, have evolved considerably since the initial flight assignments were made. In another mission assignment, Scott Parazynski will join the crew of STS-100, the eighth American flight to continue construction of the space station, currently scheduled for mid2000. He replaces astronaut Robert Curbeam, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, who will fly aboard STS-98 in early 2000. Parazynski will join Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield in a space walk to install the Canadian-built space station robotic arm assembly, which will be used during construction and space station operations. "Scott brings a great deal of experience to this mission," Wetherbee said. "His experience conducting a space walk on the exterior of the Mir space station during STS-86, and on his three previous Shuttle missions, makes him a valuable addition to the STS-100 crew." For additional information on Culbertson, Parazynski or any astronaut, visit the astronaut biography Web site at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/ -end-