STS-91 Mission Specialist and Russian cosmonaut Valery Victorovitch Ryumin is outfitted with his ascent/reentry flight suit and helmet by two suit technicians in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building. The final suit fitting and checkout takes place prior to the crew walkout and transport to Launch Pad 39A. He has been director of the Russian Shuttle-Mir program and flight director for the Salyut-7 and Mir space stations and is a veteran of three space flights with a total of 362 days in space. This will be Ryumin's first visit to Mir. However, his experience with Russian spacecraft in orbit will prove extremely valuable as he helps the crew with Mir equipment transfer operations. He will also be assessing the condition of the station for the Russian space program. STS-91 is scheduled to be launched on June 2 with a launch window opening around 6:10 p.m. EDT. The mission will feature the ninth and final Shuttle docking with the Russian space station Mir, the first Mir docking for Discovery, the first on-orbit test of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), and the first flight of the new Space Shuttle super lightweight external tank. Astronaut Andrew S. W. Thomas will return to Earth as a STS- 91 crew member after living more than four months aboard Mir. (Photo Release Date: 06/02/98 )
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