Dwayne Brown

Headquarters, Washington DC

(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Doug Peterson

Johnson Space Center, Houston TX

(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE: 00-78

Veteran astronaut James D. Wetherbee (Capt., USN) will
command the eighth Space Shuttle mission to visit the
International Space Station on a flight in 2001 to rotate space
station crews and continue space station assembly.

Joining Wetherbee on the flight deck for STS-102 aboard
Discovery will be Pilot James M. Kelly (Lt. Col., USAF). Rounding
out the crew are Mission Specialists Andy Thomas, Ph.D., Paul
Richards, and previously assigned space station Expedition 2 crew
members, Yuri V. Usachev, James S. Voss (Col., USA, Ret.) and
Susan J. Helms (Col., USAF).

The major objectives of the mission are to replace the space
station Expedition 1 crew members Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko,
and Sergei Krikalev with the Expedition 2 crew; perform two space
station assembly spacewalks; and deliver equipment for the U.S.
Destiny Laboratory Module on the first flight of the Italian-built
Leonardo logistics module.

STS-102 will be Wetherbee’s fifth mission, and his fourth as
commander. Selected as an astronaut in 1984, he flew as pilot on
STS-32 in 1990, and as commander on STS-52 in 1992, STS-63 in
1995, and STS-86 in 1997. Thomas first flew in space on STS-77 in
1996, and then was carried to the Mir space station aboard STS-89
in 1998 and returned aboard STS-91 after 141 days in space.

Kelly and Richards, selected as astronauts in 1996, will be on
their first space mission.