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Kyle Herring August 4, 1994

RELEASE: 94-051

ASTRONAUT GUTIERREZ LEAVES NASA, AIR FORCE

Astronaut Sidney M. Gutierrez (Colonel, USAF) will leave NASA effective August 8 and retire from the Air Force to join Sandia National Laboratories located in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.

At Sandia National Laboratories, he will be the Manager for Strategic Planning and Development. His retirement from the Air Force is effective October 1.

A member of the astronaut class of 1984, Gutierrez has flown twice on the Space Shuttle, most recently in April as Commander of Endeavour's STS-59 mission that used

sophisticated radar equipment to map the Earth's surface, measuring environmental changes and atmospheric pollution.

His first mission in June 1991 aboard Columbia on the STS-40 mission was dedicated to the study of the human body on the first Spacelab Life Sciences flight. Between his first and second flights, Gutierrez worked in the Mission Control Center (MCC) as the communications link between the MCC and the Shuttle and served as Chief of the Operations Development Branch in the Astronaut Office.

"Sid has been a valuable asset to this Agency," said David C. Leestma, Director of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center. "His career here is a perfect example of how important a member of the astronaut corps is in preparing others for spaceflight as well as being a crew member."

Prior to his first mission, Gutierrez held various technical assignments at NASA including Shuttle flight software verification and development; recertification of the

main engines, main propulsion system and external tank after the Challenger accident; and Action Officer at NASA Headquarters.

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Gutierrez has logged more than 4,500 hours flying time in about 30 different types of aircraft, including the F-15, F-16, F-4 and T-38. He has accumulated 488 hours in space on two Shuttle missions.

Born in Albuquerque, Gutierrez, 43, graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. He received his Masters degree in management from Webster College in Missouri in 1977.

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