August 18, 1996 in Nation/World

Russians Adjust For U.S. Astronaut

Compiled From Wire Services

Wendy Lawrence’s shortness is no longer a shortcoming.

The NASA astronaut will fly to the Russian space station Mir in 1997 for a four-month visit.

Last year, she was dropped from the crew lineup because, at 5-foot-3, she was 1-1/2 inches below the Russian space height standards. But Russian space officials have agreed to modify the seats in the cramped Soyuz capsules used for emergency escape from Mir, NASA spokesman Rob Navias said Friday.

Until this recent change, only about half of NASA’s astronaut corps met the Russians’ stringent size requirements: 5 feet 4-1/2 inches to 6 feet tall and no more than 187 pounds.

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