STS-83 Mission Specialist Michael L. Gernhardt is assisted into his launch/entry suit in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building. He first flew in this capacity on STS-69. He has been a professional deep sea diver and engineer and holds a doctorate in bioengineering. Gernhardt will be in charge of the Blue shift and as flight engineer will operate and maintain the orbiter while Halsell and Still are asleep as members of the Red shift. He will also back them up on the flight deck during the ascent and re-entry phases of the mission. Gernhardt and six fellow crew members will shortly depart the O&C and head for Launch Pad 39A, where the Space Shuttle Columbia will lift off during a launch window that opens at 2:00 p.m. EST, April 4. (Photo Release Date: 04/04/97 )
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