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Kyle Herring May 8, 1995

RELEASE: 95-038


NASA has named mission and payload specialists for a 16-day flight aboard the Space

Shuttle Columbia in the summer of 1996 to conduct life and microgravity science


Designated STS-78, the mission will have astronauts Susan J. Helms (Lt. Col, USAF),

Dr. Richard M. Linnehan and Dr. Charles E. Brady, Jr. (Commander, USN), as the

mission specialists. Also on the flight will be Dr. Jean-Jacques Favier, of the French

Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and astronaut of the French Space Agency (CNES),

and Dr. Robert Brent Thirsk, of the Canadian Space Agency. Both will serve as payload

specialists on the mission. Helms will serve as the flight engineer and Linnehan, Brady,

Favier and Thirsk will serve as the payload crew. The commander and pilot will be named


NASA has designated Dr. Pedro Duque of the European Space Agency and Dr. Luca

Urbani of the Italian Space Agency to serve as alternates to Favier and Thirsk. As

alternates, Duque and Urbani will undergo the same training as Favier and Thirsk and will

be ready to serve on the mission crew if necessary.

The mission's experiments will build on previous Shuttle spacelab flights dedicated to

life sciences and microgravity investigations (Spacelab Life Sciences 1 and 2 -- STS-40

and STS-58, and International Microgravity Laboratory 1 and 2 -- STS-42 and STS-65).

Helms, 37, has flown two previous Shuttle missions, STS-54 in January 1993 and STS-

64 in September 1994. She received a master of science degree in aeronautics/

astronautics from Stanford University in 1985. Helms considers Portland, OR, her


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Linnehan, 37, will be making his first flight. He is a member of the astronaut class of

1992. Linnehan earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Ohio State

University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. He was born in Lowell, MA.

Brady, 43, also is a member of the astronaut class of 1992 and STS-78 will be his first

flight. He received his doctorate in medicine from Duke University in 1975. He considers

Robbins, NC, his hometown.

Favier, 46, earned a Ph.D. in engineering at the Mining School of Paris and a Ph.D. in

metallurgy and physics from the University of Grenoble. He is advisor to the director of

the CEA's Center for Materials Studies and Research. Detailed to CNES, Favier currently

is working at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, in the Payload

Operations Laboratory and the Space Station Furnace Facility area. Favier was an

alternate payload specialist for STS-65, the International Microgravity Laboratory-2


Thirsk, 41, earned a Doctor in Medicine from McGill University Medical School,

Montreal, Canada, and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an adjunct professor of mechanical

engineering at the University of Victoria and continues to practice clinical medicine in

Canadian hospitals. Thirsk was an alternate payload specialist for the STS-41G


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