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NASA DRYDEN'S VANCE BRAND TO JOIN OTHER APOLLO ASTRONAUTSAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AIR RACES IN RENO, NEVADA

September 11, 2002

Release: 02-49

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--nasa--

Note to Editors: Former astronaut Vance Brand, who was the command module pilot for the first American/Soviet space docking, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, will be co-grand marshal for the 39th Reno Air Races September 12-15. Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz astronauts are being reunited at the air races. Air race spokesperson Julia Tayler says 12 astronauts have already indicated they will attend.

On July 17, 1975, a joint American and Soviet space flight mission, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, culminated in the first international rendezvous and docking in space. During the mission, Vance Brand and the other astronauts from both nations conducted 27 experiments and performed docking operations applicable to future international missions or space rescue.

Brand is currently acting director of aerospace projects at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center located on Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert. A recognized aerospace engineer and test pilot with almost 10,000 flying hours, Brand was one of 19 pilot astronauts selected in 1966 for the astronaut corps.

Besides the ASTP mission, he flew three additional space missions as space shuttle commander for STS-5, STS-41B and STS-35. After leaving the astronaut office in 1992, Brand worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for two years then transferred to Dryden in 1994, where he became the assistant chief of flight operations.

Hugh Downs will be the master of ceremonies for a special astronaut dinner on September 14 at the Silver Legacy. Proceeds from the sold-out dinner will benefit the air race foundation scholarship for aviation goals, Tayler said.

Media representatives may contact Vance Brand for interviews while at Reno by calling 775-972-6663.
 

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