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August 25, 1999

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston TX

Release: J99-36

First Interview Group Begins Astronaut Selection Process

The five-member STS-93 crew - Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jeff Ashby, and Mission Specialists Cady Coleman, Steve Hawley and French astronaut Michel Tognini - will be honored by the City of Houston and Mayor Lee Brown in a ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Tranquility Park.

The Mayor will proclaim August 26 as "STS-93 Crew Day" in Houston, and unveil an artist's rendering of a bronze plaque commemorating the STS-93 mission. The plaque will be permanently installed in Tranquility Park.

During the five-day flight, the astronauts successfully deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the third in NASA's series of "great observatories." Chandra is now in its final orbit, almost one-third of the way to the Moon as its highest point, beginning its observations of the x-ray universe. Collins pioneered a new era in space flight with the July 26 launch of Columbia, becoming the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Don Payne, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor. Payne may be reached at 713/247-2079.


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