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April 11, 1997

Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281/483-5111

Release: J97-12

Shuttle Program Reviewing Reflight of STS-83 Mission

Following a Shuttle program review on the possibilities of reflying Shuttle Columbia and the STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory-1, Space Shuttle Program Manager Tommy Holloway released the following statement.

"A review was held today by the Shuttle program which included inputs from all disciplines involved in preparing for Space Shuttle missions.

"Because of the technical problem with one of Columbia’s fuel cells last week, the first Microgravity Science Laboratory mission had to be shortened from 16 days to four. The Shuttle manifest for the remainder of the year, while tight, appears able to accommodate a reflight of Columbia and its MSL payload in early July with reasonable impact to Shuttle launch dates for the rest of calendar year 1997.

"While shortening STS-83 was disappointing, we now are in a position to do everything possible to complete the mission as STS-83 Reflight (STS-83R) with little or no impact to downstream flights. Also, it provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate our ability to respond to challenges such as this one.

"We intend to make a final decision on flying STS-83R next Friday once all organizations have made further schedule assessments."


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