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George Diller                                                                                                                  Feb. 13, 2004
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

KSC Release No. 06-04

Note to Editors:
Mode VII Orbiter Emergency Egress Landing Exercise Feb. 18

A "Mode VII" emergency landing simulation is occurring at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Feb. 18. The purpose is to exercise emergency preparedness personnel, equipment and facilities in rescuing the astronauts from a downed orbiter and provide immediate medical attention. The last Mode VII was conducted at KSC in 2002.

In the simulation, the orbiter is short on terminal energy and crashes short of the Shuttle Landing Facility in a wooded area 2½ miles south of Runway 33. Emergency crews will respond to rescue team members who are simulating injured astronauts inside an orbiter crew compartment mock-up. They will remove the crew, provide triage (emergency on-site treatment) and then transport them by ambulance or helicopter to one of three hospitals, depending on the nature of their injury.

To assure the drill is as authentic as possible for responding emergency rescue crews, they will not be told in advance about the exact circumstances they will encounter.

News media can view the emergency rescue exercise.  Spokespersons available to speak to the media on location will be:

* Butch Wilmore, NASA Astronaut
* Lt. Col. John Bicket, Deputy Chief of Operations,
Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Support Office (DDMS)
* Norb Kuhman, Fire Chief and Rescue Operations Commander, SGS

At the conclusion of the on-site portion of the exercise, media are being taken briefly to the Launch Control Center, where the exercise is being managed and directed.   Media may speak to:

* Robert Holl, Landing Recovery Director, NASA-KSC

Media planning to observe the Mode VII should contact the NASA-KSC News Center at 321-867-2468 no later than noon Tuesday, Feb. 17. News media should be at the NASA-KSC Press Site at 8:15 a.m. Feb. 18 to be taken to the remote wooded area where the orbiter crew compartment mock-up will be located for the simulated rescue.


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