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March 18, 1997

Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1778)

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

Release: 97-42

Rominger to Replace Ashby as STS-85 Pilot

Astronaut Jeffrey S. Ashby (Cmdr., USN), has been replaced as pilot for the STS-85 crew by astronaut Kent Rominger (Cmdr., USN), a two-time Shuttle pilot.

Ashby, who will be reassigned to a later flight, has been named as an assistant to the Director, Flight Crew Operations.

Rominger will join Commander Curt Brown, Payload Commander Jan Davis, Mission Specialists Robert Curbeam, Jr., and Stephen Robinson, and Payload Specialist Bjarni Tryggvason, on an 11-day mission in July aboard Discovery to study changes in the Earth's atmosphere.

Rominger previously served as pilot on STS-73, the second U.S. Microgravity Laboratory Mission, from October 20 to November 5, 1995. Most recently, he was the pilot for STS-80, Columbia's 18-day mission in November/December, 1996.

For complete biographical information on the STS-85 crew and other astronauts, see the NASA Internet astronaut biography home page at address:


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