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July 2, 1998

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

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

Release: N98-44

Astronaut Andy Thomas to Discuss Mir Mission

Astronaut Andy Thomas, the final American to live on board the Russian Mir space station, will discuss his journey during a news conference Wednesday, July 8, beginning at 8 a.m. CDT.

Frank Culbertson, manager of the Phase 1 Shuttle/Mir program, also will participate in the briefing to discuss Thomas' tenure on Mir and review the program, which saw seven Americans live and work on board the Russian space station.

The press conference will originate from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, and will be broadcast on NASA Television, providing multi-center question and answer capability for reporters at participating NASA centers.

During his 130 days on board Mir, Thomas traveled more than 56 million miles. He launched as a member of the STS-89 crew on Jan. 22, 1998, becoming a Mir crew member on Jan. 24. He returned on board Discovery as a member of the STS-91 crew on June 12. When Thomas returned to Earth, he concluded 802 consecutive days of an American presence on board Mir, beginning with astronaut Shannon Lucid's arrival March 24, 1996.

The press conference can be seen on NASA Television, which is carried on GE-2, Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency 3880 Mhz, audio 6.8 Mhz.


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