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November 6, 1996

Ed Campion
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1778)

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: (281)/483-5111)

Release: 96-229

Veteran Shuttle Commander Retires

NASA astronaut Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson, (Captain, USN Ret.) will leave NASA in mid-November to pursue private business interests.

"We will miss Hoot's leadership capabilities and skills," said David Leestma, director of Flight Crew Operations." He has played a key role in the astronaut corps and Shuttle program, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Selected as an astronaut in 1978, Gibson first flew as pilot on STS-41B in 1984. He subsequently commanded four shuttle missions, STS-61C in January 1986, STS-27 in December 1988, STS-47 in September 1992 and the first Shuttle/Mir docking mission, STS-71, in June-July 1995.

"While I am looking forward to new challenges and opportunities, I will certainly miss being a part of the NASA team," Gibson said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented and dedicated people over the past 18 years."

For complete biographical information on Gibson and other astronauts, see the NASA Internet biography home page at URL:


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