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Kari Fluegel November 21, 1994

RELEASE: 94-076

NOTE TO EDITORS:

JSC HOSTS MEDIA WORKSHOP FOR JOINT SHUTTLE/MIR MISSIONSAstronauts, flight controllers and program managers will describe NASA's upcoming cooperative missions with Russia during a media workshop to be held at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Dec. 14-16.

The three-day media workshop is designed to provide reporters with background information that will prepare them for the first joint missions between the U.S. and Russia and will focus specifically on the next flight, STS-63.

In February 1995, the crew of STS-63 will perform a rendezvous with and fly-around of the Russian Space Station Mir. STS-63 will set the stage for a flight in late May, when

the Space Shuttle Atlantis will dock with the Mir for the first time. That mission, designated STS-71, will be the first of seven docking flights currently scheduled over the next three years.

"We are entering a new age in the space community," said Tommy Holloway, Phase One program manager and one of the workshop briefers. "In the past, our human space flight programs have generally been focused on one program and its supporting organizations. But now we are bringing together the space programs of two nations to accomplish an integrated mission that will strengthen both."

The first day of the workshop is designed to provide reporters with the framework for the cooperative missions. Briefings on joint flight control, orbital mechanics and the

Mir station are among those scheduled. In the afternoon, tours of the new Consolidated Control Center and simulations of the Mir fly-around will be available.

The workshop's second day is devoted to the traditional pre-flight briefings for

STS-63. The lead flight director, payload managers and crew members will discuss the mission's activities, goals and objectives.

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The third day offers a look ahead to STS-71 and into the next century when multi-national cooperation in space will be the backbone of the International Space Station.

The event will close with a presentation by NASA public affairs officials regarding coverage and media support for the joint missions. Briefers will discuss what provisions are being made for the media in the U.S. and Russia, and will explain what kind of television support will be available.

The tentative agenda for the workshop follows (All times are CST):

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 1994

8-9 a.m. -- Phase One Overview

9-10 a.m. -- Joint Flight Control and Training Overview

10-10:45 a.m. -- Orbiter Docking Equipment

10:45 a.m. - 12 noon -- Mir Familiarization

12 noon - 12:30 p.m. -- Orbital Mechanics and Rendezvous Basics

Afternoon -- Tours and Hands-On Activities*

Consolidated Control Center Tour

Proximity Operations Simulation

Thursday, Dec.15, 1994

8 - 9:30 a.m. -- STS-63 Mission Overview

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. -- Spacehab-3

10:30 - 11 a.m. -- Spartan-204

11 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. -- Secondary Payloads

1 - 3 p.m. -- STS-63 Crew News Conference

3 - 5 p.m. -- STS-63 Crew Round Robin Interviews*

Friday, Dec. 16, 1994

8 - 9 a.m. -- Early Look at STS-71

9 - 10 a.m. -- Looking Toward Space Station

10 - 12 noon -- How to Cover the Missions

All briefings (except those activities with *) will be carried live on NASA Television with two-way audio question-and-answer capability from other NASA Centers.

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Reporters planning on attending the workshop at JSC should contact Kari Fluegel at (713) 483-5111 to ensure that adequate materials are available. Those wishing to participate in the round-robin interviews with the STS-63 crew members should contact Kyle Herring at (713) 483-5111 by Dec. 9.

NASA Television is available from GTE Spacenet 2, Transponder 5, Channel 9 at 69 degrees West Longitude. The transponder frequency is 3880 MHz and the audio subcarrier is 6.8 MHz. The polarization is horizontal.

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