STS-91 Mission Commander Charles Precourt (left) talks to Elena V. Kondakova and her husband, Valery Ryumin, a cosmonaut with the Russian Space Agency (RSA) and STS-91 mission specialist, at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). The STS-91 crew had just arrived at the SLF aboard T-38 jets in preparation for launch. Kondakova, also a cosmonaut with the RSA, flew with Commander Precourt as a mission specialist on STS-84 which launched on May 15, 1997. STS-91 is scheduled to be launched on June 2 on Space Shuttle Discovery with a launch window opening around 6:10 p.m. EDT. The mission will feature the ninth Shuttle docking with the Russian Space Station Mir, the first Mir docking for Discovery, the conclusion of Phase I of the joint U.S.-Russian International Space Station Program, and the first flight of the new Space Shuttle super lightweight external tank. The STS-91 flight crew also includes Pilot Dominic Gorie and Mission Specialists Wendy B. Lawrence; Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ph.D.; and Janet Kavandi, Ph.D. Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., will be returning to Earth with the crew after living more than four months aboard Mir. (Photo Release Date: 05/30/98 )
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