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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication
Oct. 2, 1997 -- No. 700

Media Opportunity with Mir Astronaut Jerry Linenger

1:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6
Discovery Place;
301 N. Tryon St.,

U.S. Astronaut Jerry Linenger, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumnus who recently returned from a four-month stay on the Russian space station Mir, will to talk to Charlotte-area children in an informal question-answer session at 1:30 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 6) at Discovery Place in Charlotte. Reporters are invited to attend, and Linenger will answer further questions following the 30-minute discussion. The event will be at the museum's “Challenger Learning Center,” an interactive exhibit that simulates a Space Shuttle mission control room and lab.

Linenger, an astronaut since 1992, lived aboard the space station from Jan. 12 to May 24, the longest flight for an American man. He was a mission specialist on a 1994 Space Shuttle Discovery flight.

While on Mir, Linenger became the first American male to conduct a spacewalk from a foreign space station and in a non-American spacesuit. He and his two Russian crew members also performed a “flyaround” of Mir, undocking and manually flying the Soyuz spacecraft.

The Mir flight experienced a near collision with a resupply cargo ship, the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft and numerous onboard system failures, including electrical power and the oxygen generator. Despite the difficulties, the crew completed all its goals, including scientific experiments.

Linenger earned his master's and doctorate degrees at UNC-CH in 1989. A Michigan native, he received his B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977 and his M.D. from Wayne State University in 1981.

Linenger is in Charlotte to appear as keynote speaker for “First Interstate Regional Conference on Medicine and Public Health: Discovering our Health Destiny in the Carolinas.” The conference is co-sponsored by key medical, public health and health services organizations throughout the Carolinas, including UNC-CH's schools of medicine and public health as well as the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

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Sheps Center Contact: Carolyn Busse, (919) 966-3847
Discovery Place Contact: Jim Hoffman, (704) 372-6261, ext. 312
News Services Contact: David Williamson, (919) 962-2091