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October 15, 1997

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

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

Release: H97-234

Cosmonaut Rounds Out STS-89 Crew

Cosmonaut Salizhan Shakirovich Sharipov, a first-time space flyer, has joined the crew of STS-89, the eighth Shuttle/Mir docking mission.

Sharipov, 32, was born in Uzgen, Kirghizia. Selected as a cosmonaut in 1990, he completed training in 1992, qualified for space flight as a crew commander. Prior to his selection by the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Sharipov was an Air Force pilot and has experience flying the MIG-21 aircraft.

"Since beginning training in August, Sharipov has fully integrated himself into STS-89 crew activities," said David C. Leestma, director of Flight Crew Operations. "He is working with his crew mates to support all of the mission objectives."

STS-89 is targeted for a January 1998 launch to dock with Russia's Mir space station. Sharipov will be assisting the Mir and Shuttle crews in the transfer of logistical supplies between the two vehicles.

The mission will be commanded by Terrence W. Wilcutt (Lt. Col. USMC). Also on board will be Pilot Joe Edwards (Cmdr., USN) and Mission Specialists Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ph.D.; Michael P. Anderson (Major, USAF); James F. Reilly, II, Ph.D.; and Andrew Thomas, Ph.D. Thomas will remain on Mir to begin a four-month stay and continue the American presence, replacing David Wolf, M.D., who will return to Earth as a member of the STS-89 crew.

For complete biographical information on Sharipov or any astronaut, see the NASA internet biography home page at URL:


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