Despite the success of ASSESS-I, NASA did not initially schedule a second ASSESS mission, due in part to experiences with the CVT programme, securing further funding and scheduling the aircraft. However, by late 1975, ASSESS-II was approved. This was confirmed in March 1976, with the "launch" occurring fourteen months later in the spring of 1977. During planning for the second ASSESS flight, there were discussions within NASA about what the role of the mission specialist should be, both in simulations and on actual Shuttle flights. With the selection of the first official "mission specialist" astronauts underway, this discussion focused on the existing members of the scientist-astronaut group, as well as the prospect of accepting new astronauts for assignment on Shuttle flights.

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