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<DOCNO> AP890213-0024 </DOCNO>
<FILEID>AP-NR-02-13-89 0130EST</FILEID>
<FIRST>u a AM-AstronautWaivers 1stLd-Writethru a0783 02-13 0489</FIRST>
<SECOND>AM-Astronaut Waivers, 1st Ld - Writethru, a0783,0499</SECOND>
<HEAD>Newspaper: Two Astronauts Received Medical Waivers To Fly</HEAD>
<HEAD>Eds: INSERTS 1 graf after 8th, `Truly's spokeswoman ...' to UPDATE
with denial by Johnson Space Center director.</HEAD>
The astronaut who commanded the first
post-Challenger mission was not medically qualified to fly and
another astronaut, who is colorblind, received a waiver so he can go
into space, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The Johnson Space Center medical qualification board recommended
last year that space shuttle Discovery commander Frederick H. Hauck
be disqualified because of kidney stone problems, but was overruled,
the Houston Chronicle reported.
Sources, who asked not to be named, also told the newspaper that
Daniel C. Brandenstein, chief of the astronaut corps, failed an eye
test in 1987 but received a waiver to fly again, the newspaper said.
In both cases, the sources said Rear Adm. Richard H. Truly,
NASA's associate administrator for flight operations at Washington
headquarters, interceded.
The sources are active members in Flight Crew Operations and in
the Space and Life Sciences Directorate, which includes the flight
medicine clinic and medical operations branch at the space center,
the newspaper said.
Truly declined to comment on individual medical cases Friday.
``I try to do two things,'' Truly said. ``I try to make sure from
the management view that the (medical) process works, that
individual health problems are treated fairly by the (medical
qualification) board and management, and secondly to protect the
rights of the individual involved, and the major objective is to get
healthy astronauts to the launch pad for the mission.''
Truly's spokeswoman Sarah Keegan said Sunday she also could not
comment on specific medical cases.
Johnson Space Center director Aaron Cohen said: ``Neither Rick
Hauck nor Dan Brandenstein _ nor any other astronaut for that matter
_ has received preferential treatment in the consideration of
medical issues.''
During October interviews and again last week, Hauck and
Brandenstein would not discuss their medical records, the Chronicle
Sources said the Space Medicine Board grounded Hauck early in
1988 because of a kidney stone problem, but the recommendation was
later overruled, and subsequently reversed.
Brandenstein failed the Farnsworth Lantern color perception test
in 1987, sources said, but received the only waiver ever issued to
an astronaut for colorblindness.
Some of the most important of about 2,000 circuit breakers and
switches on the shuttle orbiter are color-coded, including some of
those used in the launch and re-entry, a source said.
Brandenstein is scheduled to command the Columbia space shuttle
in November. He has flown on two previous shuttle flights, in 1983
and in 1985.
Hauck flew on shuttle flights in 1983 and 1984, as well as
commanding the Discovery flight last September. He has said the
Discovery flight was his last shuttle mission.
Hauck had a kidney stone dissolved at Houston's Methodist
Hospital last April, but the process doesn't guarantee that another
kidney stone will not form.
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