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Kyle Herring November 8, 1994

RELEASE: 94-074

ASTRONAUTS CHILTON, READDY TO COMMAND SHUTTLE/MIR MISSIONS

NASA astronauts Kevin P. Chilton (Colonel, USAF) and William F. Readdy (Captain, Naval Reserve) will command the third and fourth Space Shuttle/Mir docking missions, respectively. The flights are currently designated STS-76 and STS-79.

These flights are two of the seven scheduled Shuttle/Mir missions between 1995 and 1997 that include rendezvous, docking and crew transfers with the Russian space station. The Space Shuttle will assist with crew exchange, resupply and payload activities for Mir.

Under Chilton's command, the third Shuttle/Mir Mission scheduled for March 1996, will transfer one of the six astronaut crewmembers for a four-month stay on the Russian space station. The 10-day STS-76 mission also will include life and materials sciences experimentation in a pressurized module mounted in Atlantis' payload bay.

Under Readdy's command, the fourth docking mission in July 1996 will drop off another astronaut and bring home the astronaut launched on STS-76. In addition to conducting experiments within a pressurized module, the mission will feature a spacewalk to transfer several experiments from the Shuttle's payload bay to the docking module on the Mir station. The mission is currently scheduled for 10 days.

Chilton, 39, has flown twice aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour -- the maiden voyage on STS-49 in May 1992 and most recently on the STS-59 mission in April 1994.

STS-49 included a triple rendezvous with a stranded Intelsat communications satellite before the successful capture during a record eight and a half hour spacewalk. The mission also included a variety of medical, scientific and operational tests.

The STS-59 mission was dedicated to mapping the Earth's environmental changes using a variety of radar and air pollution measuring instruments mounted in the payload bay as part of the first Space Radar Laboratory mission. Nearly 500 Orbiter maneuvers were conducted throughout the mission to assist with fine pointing of the radar instruments in the payload bay.

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Chilton received a bachelor's degree in engineering sciences from the Air Force Academy in 1976 and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University in 1977. As a test pilot, he has flown many different types of aircraft leading up to his selection for the astronaut corps in 1987. He was born in Los Angeles, CA.

Readdy, 42, also has flown on two Shuttle missions, STS-42 in January 1992 and STS-51 in September 1993 -- both aboard Discovery. He most recently was NASA manager of operational activities at Star City, Russia, supporting training and preparations of NASA astronauts at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City.

On STS-42, he participated in various scientific experiments carried out as part of the first International Microgravity Laboratory mission, which included the conduct of 55 experiments provided by investigators from 11 countries.

On STS-51, Readdy participated in the deployment of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite, and the deploy, rendezvous and retrieval of a science satellite designed to study ultraviolet radiation emitted from distant stellar objects. The mission also included a seven-hour spacewalk designed to evaluate tools and techniques used during the Hubble Space Telescope first servicing mission and on future space missions.

A Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Readdy earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Academy in 1974. Including his background as a test pilot, Readdy has accumulated more than 6,500 flying hours in over 60 types of fixed wing and helicopters. He considers McLean, VA, his hometown.

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