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January 8, 1998

Jennifer McCarter
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1638

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, FL
407-867-2468

Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
281-483-5111

Release: J98-1

Endeavour Launch to Mir Set for January 22, 1998; STS-89 & Mir Background Press Briefings Next Week

The night of Jan. 22 was selected today by Space Shuttle Program managers as the launch date for the first flight of 1998 and the eighth to rendezvous and dock with Russia's Mir Space Station.

A series of background press briefings on the STS-89 mission are scheduled beginning at 8 a.m. CST, Jan. 13 on NASA TV. A Mir EVA activities briefing and Lunar Prospector briefing also will be part of the lineup on Jan. 13. A list of the briefings, times and participants is attached.

STS-89 mission objectives include replacing astronaut Dr. David Wolf with Andy Thomas who will be the next U.S. crew member on the station as part of the Phase One Program. During the mission, more than 7,000 pounds of experiments, supplies and hardware are scheduled to be transferred between the two spacecraft. Wolf will return home following four months on Mir.

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The preferred launch window opportunity opens at approximately 8:48 p.m. CST and closes about 5 minutes later. Following a nominal flight duration of 8 days, 19 hours, 48 minutes, Endeavour is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida at about 4:36 p.m. CST, Jan. 31.

Today's launch date decision follows the traditional face-to-face Flight Readiness Review at KSC by shuttle managers from NASA and prime contractor United Space Alliance.

"The team is ready to put Endeavour back into space after a year and half of undergoing important modifications and upgrades," said George Abbey, Director of the Johnson Space Center, who chaired the review. "The work that has been done in getting this vehicle ready to fly is attributable to a real team effort across the program."

STS-89 will be Endeavour's 12th mission into space and the 89th shuttle flight in the program's history.

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PLEASE NOTE: Following the STS-89 mission briefings, individual round-robin interviews with the STS-89 astronauts will be held for reporters at JSC and for those who make special arrangements in advance to conduct the interviews by phone. Reporters interested in round-robin interviews with the STS-89 astronauts should fax a letter of interest to Eileen Hawley in JSC Public Affairs by close of business on Jan. 9. The fax number for the JSC Public Affairs office is 281/483-2000. The round-robin interviews will not be seen on NASA TV.

STS-89 PRE-FLIGHT BRIEFINGS Tuesday, January 13, 1998 (All times shown are cST)

8:00 a.m. Mission Overview Phil Engelauf, STS-89 Lead Flight Director

9:00 a.m. Mir 24 Pre-EVA Activities Briefing Frank Culbertson, Director, Shuttle-Mir Phase One Program Greg Harbaugh, Acting Manager, EVA Projects Office

9:45 a.m. Phase One Overview Frank Culbertson, Director, Shuttle-Mir Phase One Program Valery Ryumin, Director, RSC Energia, Phase One Program John Uri, Shuttle-Mir Mission Scientist

11 a.m. Lunar Prospector Press Conference

Noon Spacehab Briefing Mike Bain, Shuttle-Mir Program Manger, Spacehab

12:30 p.m. Astroculture/X-ray Detector Test/MGM experiment Briefing Joel Kearns, Microgravity Research Program Manager, MSFC Dr. Daniel Carter, New Century Pharmaceuticals Dr. Raymond Bula, University of Wisconsin Buddy Guynes, Project Manager, MGM experiment

1:30 p.m. STS-89 CREW PRESS CONFERENCE Terrence Wilcutt, Mission Commander Joe Edwards, Pilot Jim Reilly, Mission Specialist-1 Mike Anderson, Mission Specialist-2 Bonnie Dunbar, Payload Commander /Mission Specialist-3 Salizhan Sharipov, Mission Specialist-4 Andy Thomas, Mission Specialist 5

2:30 p.m. STS-89 Crew Round Robins Note: The round robin interview event with the STS-89 crew is a local JSC event only and will not be carried on NASA TV.

 

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