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December 5, 1997

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center
(281) 483-5914

Release: J97-41

Special Event Honoring STS-87 Mission Astronauts

NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) will host a special event December 17 to honor the astronaut crew of the recently completed eighth and final Shuttle mission of 1997, STS-87. The free event will be held at Space Center Houston at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

JSC Director George Abbey will present the crew’s Space Flight Medals and other awards to individuals and teams who made key contributions to the flight. The crew, STS-87 Commander Kevin Kregel, Pilot Steve Lindsey, Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla, Winston Scott and Takao Doi, and Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk will narrate a slide show presentation of mission photographs, including those taken by the crew during their flight. The program will conclude with a showing of the IMAX movie "The Dream is Alive."

The recently completed mission featured a number of experiments to study how the weightless environment of space affects various physical processes and conducted two spacewalks.

The first spacewalk by Winston Scott and Takao Doi included the dramatic retrieval of the Spartan satellite. The second spacewalk was added to the mission to allow more testing of assembly techniques that will be important to the International Space Station and testing of the free-flying video camera, the Aercam Sprint.

Takao Doi, from the Japanese space agency (NASDA) was the first Japanese and second non-U.S. person to perform a shuttle spacewalk. Leonid K. Kadenyuk from the Ukrainian Space Agency was the first Ukrainian to fly aboard the space shuttle.

The general public is invited, but should arrive promptly due to the limited seating available in the Space Center Houston IMAX theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the seating is first-come, first-served. The program is limited to the theater, and other Space Center Houston attractions will not be open.

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