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November 13, 1997

Jennifer McCarter
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1639)

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

Release: H97-263

Tognini Named to STS-93 Crew

Veteran French Space Agency (CNES) astronaut Michel Tognini (Col., French Air Force) will fly aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a member of the STS-93 crew, slated for an August 1998 launch.

A member of NASA's 1995 astronaut class, Tognini was one of seven astronauts selected by CNES in 1985. He trained extensively at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, in support of joint Soviet-French space missions. In 1992, he spent 14 days aboard the Mir space station with crewmates Anatoly Solovyev and Sergei Avdeiev. STS-93 will mark Tognini's first flight on the Space Shuttle.

During the five-day mission, Tognini and his crewmates will deploy the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility Imaging System (AXAF), which will conduct comprehensive studies of the universe. AXAF consists of three major elements: a spacecraft with an inertial upper stage rocket motor, a telescope, and a science instrument module. Its principal objectives are to study X-ray emissions of stars and planets and to resolve images of extended supernova remnants.

The remaining STS-93 crew members will be named at a later date.

For additional information on Tognini, or any astronaut, see the NASA Internet biography home page at URL:


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