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June 24, 1996

Brian Welch
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

Rob Navias
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: (281)/483-5111)

Release: N96-42

Mir 22 Prelaunch News Conference Set

The next group of cosmonauts to occupy the Russian Mir Space Station, including U.S. astronaut John Blaha, will discuss their mission in a prelaunch news conference at 9 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, June 26, from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

The news conference can be viewed on NASA Television, however no question and answer capability will be available for reporters at NASA centers.

Mir 22 Commander Gennady Manakov and Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov are scheduled to be launched in a Soyuz TM-24 capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on August 14 and will dock to the Mir on August 16 to begin what is expected to be a six-month mission. Blaha will already be aboard Mir, having been transported to the space station aboard the Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-79 mission, which is tentatively scheduled for launch July 31. Blaha will spend about four months on Mir, replacing astronaut Shannon Lucid, who has been part of the Mir 21 crew since March. Lucid will return to Earth around August 9 with the STS-79 crew.

NASA Television is carried on C-band, Spacenet 2, Transponder 5, Channel 9 at 69 degrees West longitude. The transponder frequency is 3880 Mhz and the audio subcarrier is 6.8 Mhz.


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