June 18, 1999
    KSC Contact: Joel Wells
    KSC Release No. 51-99

    Note to Editors:
    KSC COUNTDOWN TEST OFFERS MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES WITH STS-93 ASTRONAUTS

    The STS-93 astronauts arrive at Kennedy Space Center Monday, June 21, to participate in Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) activities. Media representatives have several opportunities next week to photograph and meet the crew.

    The flight crew is comprised of Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jeff Ashby and Mission specialists Steve Hawley, Catherine Coleman and French Astronaut Michel Tognini.

    A countdown test is held prior to each Space Shuttle flight. The launch day dress rehearsal on Thursday follows three days of emergency egress training exercises, flights in the Shuttle Training Aircraft and an inspection of the Chandra X-ray Observatory payload inside Shuttle Columbia's payload bay.

    Monday at about 5:30 p.m., the crew is scheduled to arrive at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility. Media interested in a crew arrival statement and photo opportunity will depart from the KSC Press Site at 4:30 p.m. News media will depart the Press Site at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday for a photo opportunity during the crew's M113 tracked vehicle training session. (Correction: To assure that the STS-93 crew's TCDT training proceeds on schedule, photos and video of the M113 tracked vehicle session will be provided by NASA. Media will not be able to attend this portion of the crew's training.)

    The crew will speak informally to interested media just after their scheduled emergency egress walk-down at Launch Pad 39B. Media interested in participating in this photo opportunity and question and answer session should be at the KSC Press Site by 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday for transport to the pad. This event will be carried live on NASA TV.

    At about 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, the astronauts will depart KSC's crew quarters wearing their launch and entry suits headed for Pad 39B. Media interested in that photo opportunity will be escorted from the Press Site at 6:45 a.m. At about 8:15 a.m. the crew begins ingress into Shuttle Columbia's crew compartment. The dress rehearsal culminates with a simulated main engine cut-off at about 11 a.m. The crew is scheduled to depart KSC for their homes in Houston, TX, Thursday at about 2:15 p.m.

    FINAL NOTE: Media needing credentials must call the KSC Press Site at 407-867-2468 by noon Monday, June 21.


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