Commander Michael L. Coats, Pilot John E. Blaha, Mission Specialists James P. Bagian, James F. Buchli, and Robert C. Springer
Discovery's astronauts generally toed the line on a new NASA edict to cut the comedy, at least for public viewing, but they showed some flashes of fun in space, mainly in the battle of wakeup songs. When Discovery made the first post-Challenger flight last September, the five astronauts awoke to Beach Boys music parodies and clowned for television cameras in bright Hawaiian shirts. And even though the December flight of Atlantis was a classified military mission, word leaked of special wakeup music not particularly flattering to the Pentagon. And both crews videotaped themselves playing in the weightlessness of orbit, turning somersaults, throwing a football and feeding each other candy. The tapes were shown at public gatherings. The astronauts' wacky wakeup calls and zany acrobatics got attention, which upset NASA because it felt the reports made the flights look like all play and no work. Discovery's flight started out strictly following the policy, with wakeup calls played by Mission Control limited to presentations like the Marine Hymn, for the two crewmen who are Marines. But on Day 3, things loosened up.