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Kyle Herring

RELEASE: 94-057 August 25, 1994


Veteran astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz has been named payload commander for Space Shuttle mission STS-76 -- the second flight of the Tethered Satellite System (TSS) scheduled for early 1996.

As payload commander on the 13-day mission, Chang-Diaz, 44, will begin the necessary long-lead preparations required for TSS, which was first flown in July/August 1992 as part of

the STS-46 mission. The Italian-built satellite is designed to orbit at the end of a 13-mile-long tether to test techniques for managing spacecraft at great distances and to study the electrodynamic effects of moving a conductive tether through the Earth's magnetic field.

STS-76 will be Chang-Diaz's fifth Shuttle mission. He served as mission specialist on STS 61-C in January 1986, STS-34 in October 1989, STS-46, and STS-60 in February 1994.

He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and a doctorate in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology in 1977. He was born in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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