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Kyle Herring March 10, 1995

RELEASE: 95-020


Astronaut Michael A. Baker (Captain, USN), will replace Ronald M. Sega,

Ph.D., as the NASA manager of operational activities at Star City, Russia, near Moscow.

The transition coincides with the launching March 14 of Norman E. Thagard and two

cosmonauts aboard a Soyuz rocket for a three-month stay aboard Russia's space station


As Director of Operations, Russia, Baker will support training and preparations of

NASA astronauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), Star City. He also

will be the primary interface between NASA and the GCTC management, coordinating all

training and other operations including NASA or contractor personnel in Star City.

Baker, the fourth astronaut to serve in this rotational assignment will continue to

establish operational and personal relationships with Star City management and the

cosmonauts, which are pivitol to successful, long-term joint operations involving NASA,

the Russian Space Agency (RSA) and GCTC. He also will participate in personal training

designed to acquaint astronauts with the operational aspects of Russian vehicles and

training facilities.

Baker will join fellow astronauts Shannon W. Lucid, Ph.D., and John E. Blaha

(USAF Colonel, Ret.) who have been training in Star City since February as the prime and

backup crew members for a five-month flight aboard Mir. Lucid will be launched aboard

Atlantis' STS-76 mission in the spring of 1996. It will be the third Shuttle mission to dock

with the Russian space station.

Baker, 41, has flown three times on the Shuttle: STS-43 in August 1991, STS-52

in October 1992, and most recently on STS-68 in September/October 1994. He received

a bacheolor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in


Sega, 42, flew on Discovery's STS-60 mission in February 1994, the first joint

U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission. He has served in Star City since November 1994 and

will return to an assignment in the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center. Sega

received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1982.

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