Space Shuttle Discovery is silhouetted against the early morning sky as it is makes its 3.4 mile trek atop a crawler/transporter to Launch Complex 39A from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). There, in high bay 1, Discovery was mated to the first Space Shuttle super lightweight external tank/solid rocket booster stack. Discovery will be launched on mission STS-91, concluding Phase I of the joint U.S.-Russian International Space Station Program, on June 2 with a launch window opening around 6:10 p.m. EDT. This will be the ninth Shuttle docking with the Russian Space Station Mir, but the first Mir docking for Discovery. The STS-91 flight crew includes Commander Charles Precourt; Pilot Dominic Gorie; and Mission Specialists Wendy B. Lawrence; Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ph.D.; Janet Kavandi, Ph.D.; and Valery Ryumin, with the Russian Space Agency. Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., will be returning to Earth with the crew after living more than four months aboard Mir. (Photo Release Date: 04/27/98 )
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