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SHUTTLE ASTRONAUTS TO OFFER LIVE WEATHER REPORT FROM SPACE ON THE WEATHER CHANNEL

 ATLANTA, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unusual departure from its regular programming, The Weather Channel will carry an exclusive live weather report from the orbiting space shuttle Discovery on Saturday, April 10, starting at 6:46 p.m., EDT, officials for the cable network announced today. The 15-minute teleconference will take place during a mission devoted to atmospheric and environmental research.
 "On this mission the shuttle will orbit on a more northerly path than usual, allowing better viewing of the northern hemisphere," said Ray Ban, vice president of operations for The Weather Channel. "We hope to be able to give our audience some unusual and striking pictures of weather systems from space."
 On Discovery, which will be making its 16th space flight, mission specialist Mike Foale will turn the shuttle's video cameras earthward, and report on the weather systems below. He will also answer meteorologists' questions about experiments being conducted by the shuttle crew, whether dust from Mount Pinatubo's volcano affects the color of sunsets and sunrises in space, what weather systems offer the most interesting views from space, and other questions.
 Specialist Foale is one of five crew members for the shuttle program's 54th mission. Joining him are Marine Colonel Ken Cameron, mission commander; Steve Oswald, pilot; and mission specialists Ken Cockrell and Ellen Ochoa. Commander Cameron, pilot Oswald, and specialist Foale have flown on previous shuttle flights. Mr. Oswald is a former Navy test pilot and Mr. Cockrell, who will also serve as the mission's flight engineer, is a Navy veteran.
 Discovery is scheduled to lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, April 6, at 1:32 a.m., EDT, with The Weather Channel interview taking place four days after the launch. Mr. Ban of The Weather Channel said that if the launch is delayed, the live link-up will still be held at the same point in the flight plan.
 According to NASA officials, shortly after lift-off the crew will divide into a Red Team, consisting of specialists Cockrell and Foale, and a Blue Team, containing the rest of the crew. The teams will alternate working in 12-hour shifts, allowing for continuous 24-hour observation of shuttle experiments. Among the experiments planned for the flight is the deployment of a scientific platform to study solar wind and its effect on the earth. The platform, dubbed Spartan, will be deployed and later retrieved by the shuttle's robotic arm. Spartan is stored in the shuttle's cargo bay.
 Discovery is set to return to earth with a landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 14.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Richard Roher of Roher Public Relations, 212-986-6668, for The Weather Channel


CO: The Weather Channel ST: Georgia IN: ENT SU:

GK-KW -- NY069 -- 1680 03/31/93 16:41 EST
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Date:Mar 31, 1993
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SHUTTLE ASTRONAUTS TO OFFER LIVE WEATHER REPORT FROM SPACE ON THE WEATHER CHANNEL

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