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July 24, 1997

Debra Rahn
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1639)

Ed Campion/ Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: 97-159

August 7 Selected For STS-85 Space Shuttle Mission Launch

Space Shuttle Program managers today set August 7 as the launch date for the next Shuttle mission, to deploy and retrieve a science satellite and test a small robotic arm identical to one that will be used on the International Space Station's Japanese Experiment Module.

The launch window for Space Shuttle Discovery extends for one hour, 39 minutes from 9:41 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. CDT. Nominal flight duration is 10 days, 20 hours, 24 minutes, putting the landing on Monday, August 18, at 6:05 a.m. CDT.

Discovery's crew, made up of Commander Curt Brown, Pilot Kent Rominger, Mission Specialists Jan Davis, Robert Curbeam and Steve Robinson and Canadian Payload Specialist Bjarni Tryggvason, will deploy the CRISTA-SPAS spacecraft for nine days of free-flying atmospheric studies and demonstrate the operational capability of the Japanese Remote Manipulator System and its Small Fine Arm.

"From a shirt-sleeve orbiting laboratory one month, to the study of Earth's atmosphere and future flight demonstrations to support the International Space Station the next, the diversity of the Space Shuttle system is once again ready to be demonstrated with STS-85," said Johnson Space Center Director George Abbey, who chaired the Flight Readiness Review from the Kennedy Space Center, FL.

STS-85 will be Discovery's 23rd flight in space, tying it with Columbia as the Orbiter with the most missions. It also will be the 86th Shuttle flight in the program's history.


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