RELEASE: 94-045 July 7, 1994
CREW NAMED FOR SECOND WAKE SHIELD FACILITY SHUTTLE FLIGHT
U.S. Navy Captain David M. Walker will command Endeavour's ninth mission, STS-69,
scheduled for mid-1995. The primary objective of the flight will be to deploy and retrieve the Wake Shield Facility (WSF) first flown on the STS-60 mission in February 1994.
Walker's crewmates on the STS-69 mission are Kenneth D. Cockrell, pilot, and James H.
Newman and Michael L. Gernhardt, mission specialists. James S. Voss (Lt. Col., USA) was named payload commander in August 1993.
The STS-69 mission will mark the second flight of the Wake Shield Facility. WSF is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of using this free-flying experiment to grow semiconductors, high temperature superconductors and other materials using the ultra-high vacuum created behind the spacecraft near the experiment package.
The mission will also include the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology free flyer
(OAST Flyer) which will be deployed from the Shuttle containing several space technology experiments. A small experiment designed to study ultraviolet emissions will be part of the payload complement as well, called the International Extreme Ultraviolet, Far Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH)
Walker will be making his fourth flight aboard the Shuttle. His first mission was as pilot of the STS 51-A flight aboard Discovery in November 1984. Two communications satellites were deployed and two others retrieved and returned to Earth.
His second mission was as commander of Atlantis' STS-30 mission in May 1989 to deploy the Magellan spacecraft that continues to study the surface of Venus. Walker's third flight was aboard Discovery on the STS-53 mission in December 1992. The primary goal was to deploy a classified Department of Defense payload (DOD-1).
Walker, 50, has been the Flight Crew Operations Directorate's primary liaison to the Space Station program as Chief, Station Exploration Support Office. He is from Eustis, Fla., and is a 1966 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
STS-69 will be the second Shuttle mission for 44-year-old Cockrell. His first flight was
aboard Discovery on the STS-56 mission in April 1993. The mission focused on better
understanding the effects of solar activity on the Earth's environment using a series of
instruments in the payload bay that made up the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-2).
Prior to this assignment, Cockrell has been serving as a spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control during launch and landing. He was born in Austin, Texas. He received a master of science degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida in 1974.
Newman, 37, will also be making his second spaceflight. He previously flew as a mission
specialist on STS-51 aboard Discovery in September 1993. The mission included deployment of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) and deployment/retrieval of a science platform to study ultraviolet emissions. Newman also conducted a spacewalk to test tools and techniques for use on future missions.
From San Diego, Calif., Newman received his doctorate in physics from Rice University in
1984. Since his last mission, he has been assigned to the Mission Development Branch
working on payload science support.
Gernhardt, 38, will be making his first Shuttle flight. He was born in Mansfield, Ohio, and
received his doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991.
Prior to this assignment, Gernhardt has been detailed to flight software verification in the
Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). He has also worked on several
extravehicular activity (EVA) projects, including direct support for last year's mission to
service the Hubble Space Telescope (STS-61).
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