Veteran NASA astronauts Richard O. Covey and Kenneth Bowersox and ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier have been named to the crew for STS-61, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission.
Covey (Col., USAF) will be the mission Commander, and Bowersox (Commander, USN) will be the Pilot. Nicollier will be a mission specialist. The three join other crew members previously named to the STS-61 flight: Payload Commander Story Musgrave, M.D., and mission specialists Tom Akers (Lt. Col., USAF), Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Ph.D., and Kathryn D. Thornton, Ph.D.
This will mark Covey's fourth Space Shuttle mission. He flew as Pilot on missions STS-51 in 1985 and STS-26 in 1988 - the return to flight following the Challenger accident. Covey was Commander of STS-38 in 1990.
Bowersox will be making his second flight, having previously flown on STS-50 this past June, the longest Shuttle mission to date. Nicollier will be making his second flight, having flown on the STS-46 mission in July.
Brinkley Named STS-61 Mission Director
Also named today is Randy Brinkley to serve as STS-61 Mission Director for the Office of Space Flight (OSF). Brinkley currently is Special Assistant to OSF Associate Administrator Jeremiah Pearson and will undertake the additional duties for the late 1993 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
"I've told Randy to work with any and all members of the multi- organizational HST team, to ensure the success of this extremely complex and important mission," said Pearson. "He has full authority to act for me in this regard."
Brinkley (Col., USMC, ret.) spent 25 years in the Marine Corps. As a marine aviator, he accumulated over 4,000 accident-free hours and flew in 42 different types of aircraft. He was flight qualified in both the F/A-18 and AV8B Harrier. He commanded an F-4 squadron and the Marine Corps largest F/A-18 air group.
Upon retiring from the Marine Corps as a Colonel in 1990, he joined the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Co. and assumed the leadership role as Manager of the company's Strategic Evaluation and Studies Team. Brinkley was named Special Assistant to Gen. Pearson in August 1992.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1965, Brinkley holds masters degrees in Business Administration, International Relations and National Security and Strategic Studies.
The Hubble Space Telescope program is an international cooperative project between NASA and the European Space Agency.
Chief and Deputy Named for Astronaut Office
NASA today also announced that Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson (Captain, USN) has been named Chief of the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. Gibson replaced Dan Brandenstein who left NASA in October.
Gibson is a four-time veteran of Space Shuttle missions. He has flown as Pilot on missions STS-41B in 1984 and Commanded STS-61C in 1986, STS-27 in 1988 and the STS-47 mission conducted in September. Gibson also holds the world altitude record - 27,040 feet - in an international class (660 to 1100 pounds) C-1A piston engine aircraft.
Loren Shriver (Col., USAF) has been named Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. Shriver has flown on three Shuttle missions. Shriver flew as Pilot on STS-51C in 1985 and commanded the HST deployment mission, STS-31 in 1990, and the STS-46 Tether Satellite System mission in July. Shriver recently has been the acting Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office.