STS-85 Commander Curtis L. Brown, Jr. prepares to enter the Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery at Launch Complex 39A just prior to launch, scheduled for 10:41 a.m. EDT. The primary payload on this mission is the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2) free-flyer. The CRISTA-SPAS-2 will be deployed on flight day 1 to study trace gases in the Earths atmosphere as a part of NASAs Mission to Planet Earth program. Also aboard the free-flying research platform will be the Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Instrument (MAHRSI). Other payloads on the 11-day mission include the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD), a Japanese Space Agency-sponsored experiment. Also in Discoverys payload bay are the Technology Applications and Science-1 (TAS-1) and International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker-2 (IEH-2) experiments. (Photo Release Date: 08/07/97 )
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