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Kyle Herring March 30, 1995

Release: 95-024


Astronaut Shannon W. Lucid, Ph.D.,will be the second American to be a prime crew member during a five-month stay aboard Russia's Space Station Mir in 1996. Jerry M. Linenger (Commander, Medical Corps, USN) will be the third American to fly to the orbital laboratory, also in 1996.

John E. Blaha (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) will serve as backup to Lucid and Scott E. Parazynski will act as backup to Linenger. Lucid and Blaha have been training since February in Star City, Russia. Linenger and Parazynski will begin training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in late May. Blaha and Parazynski will continue training at Star City for stays aboard Mir on future missions.

These assignments continue the U.S./Russia human space flight cooperation, which consists of a three-phased program.

Phase one includes seven to ten Space Shuttle-Mir missions between 1995 and 1997, including rendezvous, docking and crew transfers. The Space Shuttle will assist with crew exchange, resupply and payload activities for Mir. Russian cosmonauts have flown on two Shuttle missions -- STS-60 in 1994 and STS-63 last month. Four or more U.S. astronaut stays aboard Mir are planned, totaling nearly two years of on-orbit time.

Phase two is the joint development of the core International Space Station. Phase three is the expansion of the Space Station to include all of the international partners.

Lucid, 52, also has flown four times aboard the Shuttle. She was a mission specialist on STS 51-G in June 1985, STS-34 in October 1989, STS-43 in August 1991 and STS-58 in October 1993. She received her master of science and doctorate of philosophy degrees in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 and 1973, respectively.

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Blaha, 52, has flown on four Shuttle missions, STS-29 in March 1989, STS-33 in November 1989, STS-43 in August 1991 and STS-58 in October 1993. He received a master of science degree in astronautical engineering from Purdue

University in 1966.

Linenger, 40, flew on Discovery's STS-64 mission in September 1994. He earned a doctorate in medicine from Wayne State University in 1981 and a master of public health degree in health policy and a doctor of philosophy degree in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina in 1989.

Parazynski, 33, was a member of Atlantis' STS-66 crew which flew in November 1994. He completed medical school at Stanford University in 1989 and served his medical internship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School in 1990.

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