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Kyle Herring November 18, 1994

RELEASE: 94-075COMMANDER, PILOT AND FLIGHT ENGINEER NAMED TO STS-73 CREWThe remaining NASA astronauts have been named for the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission that will equal the longest flight in Space Shuttle program history and continue laying the foundation for microgravity research in space.

NASA astronaut Kenneth D. Bowersox (Cmdr., USN) will be the Commander;

Kent V. Rominger (Cmdr., USN), will serve as the Pilot; and Michael E. Lopez-Alegria (Lt. Cmdr., USN) will serve as a Mission Specialist and the Flight Engineer on the mission scheduled for launch in the fall of 1995 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.

They will join Dr. Kathryn C. Thornton, Payload Commander and Dr. Catherine G. "Cady" Coleman, (Captain, USAF), Mission Specialist, who were named to the crew in

March. Payload Specialists Dr. Fred W. Leslie, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, and Dr. Albert Sacco, Jr., of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester,

MA, were selected as crew members in June.

The 16-day mission follows the first microgravity laboratory flight, STS-50, flown in June and July 1992. The mission will continue the series of Shuttle flights dedicated

to studying microgravity materials processing technology over extended durations in space through research sponsored by government, industry and academia. The mission will focus on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids and many other scientific experiments to be housed in the pressurized Spacelab module.

Bowersox, 38, will be making his third flight aboard the Shuttle and first as Commander. He flew on the first USML mission, STS-50, aboard Columbia and most recently was a member of Endeavour's STS-61 crew that serviced the Hubble Space Telescope for the first time in December 1993.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 with a degree in aerospace engineering. He earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University in 1979. Born in Portsmouth, VA, Bowersox considers Bedford, IN, his

hometown.

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Rominger, 38, is a member of the astronaut class of 1992 and will be making his first flight aboard the Shuttle. He was born in Del Norte, CO, and received a bachelor of

science degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University in 1978. His masters degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School was earned in 1987.

Lopez-Alegria, 36, was born in Madrid, Spain, and considers Madrid and Mission Viejo, CA, his hometowns. He received a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980 and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1988. STS-73 will be his first Shuttle mission and he, too, is a member of the astronaut class of 1992.

Thornton will be making her fourth Shuttle flight. She first flew aboard Discovery on a Department of Defense mission (STS-33) in November 1989. Her second flight was in

May 1992 on the maiden voyage of Endeavour (STS-49) to rescue and repair the Intelsat spacecraft and to examine assembly techniques for large space structures such as the

international space station. Thornton's most recent flight in December 1993 was aboard Endeavour as a member of the crew sent to carry out the first servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope (STS-61). On that flight, she was one of four astronauts who conducted a record five spacewalks.

Coleman will be making her first flight on the Shuttle. She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1991.

Dr. Leslie earned a Ph.D. in atmospheric science with a minor in fluid dynamics from the University of Oklahoma. He is chief of the MSFC Earth System Processes and Modeling Branch.

Dr. Sacco, of Holden, MA, earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a professor and head of the chemical engineering department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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