STS-94 Mission Specialist Michael L. Gernhardt prepares to enter the Space Shuttle Columbia at Launch Pad 39A in preparation for launch. 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 lift off during a launch window that opens at 1:50 a.m. EDT, July 1. The launch window will open 47 minutes early to improve the opportunity to lift off before Florida summer rain showers reach the space center. (Photo Release Date: 07/01/97 )

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