STS-79 was a Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

Space Shuttle Atlantis
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is a retired Space Shuttle orbiter in the Space Shuttle fleet belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration , the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States...

 mission to the Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station. It was the first shuttle mission to dock with Mir once it was fully assembled.


Mission parameters

  • Mass
    Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

    • Spacehab-Double Module 4774 kilograms (10,524.9 lb)
    • Orbiter Docking System 1821 kilograms (4,014.6 lb)
  • Perigee
    Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

    368 kilometres (228.7 mi)
  • Apogee: 386 kilometres (239.8 mi)
  • Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    92.1 min

4th Mir docking mission

  • Docked: 19 September 1996, 03:13:18 UTC
  • Undocked: 24 September 1996, 01:31:34 UTC
  • Time Docked: 4 days, 22 h, 18 min, 16 s

Mission highlights

STS-79 was the first shuttle mission to the fully completed Mir space station in its final configuration, following the arrival of the Priroda
The Priroda module was the seventh and final module of the Mir Space Station. Its primary purpose was to conduct Earth resource experiments through remote sensing and to develop and verify remote sensing methods...

 module. This spaceflight was highlighted by return to Earth of the American astronaut Shannon Lucid after 188 days in space, the first American crewmember exchange aboard the Russian Space Station Mir, and fourth Shuttle-Mir docking. Lucid's long-duration spaceflight set a new American record, as well as worldwide spaceflight record for a woman astronaut. She embarked to Mir 22 March on the STS-76
STS-76 was NASA's 76th Space Shuttle mission, and the 16th mission for Atlantis. STS-76 launched on 22 March 1996 at 3:13 am EST from Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39B...

 mission. Succeeding her on Mir for an approximately four-month stay was John Blaha, who returned in January 1997 with the STS-81 crew. The American astronaut Jerry Linenger replaced him.

STS-79 also marked second flight of SPACEHAB module in support of Shuttle-Mir activities and first flight of SPACEHAB Double Module configuration. The forward portion of the double module housed experiments conducted by the crew before, during and after the Atlantis was docked to the Russian space station. The aft portion of the double module housed the logistics equipment to be transferred to the Russian space station. Logistics supplies included food, clothing, experiment, supplies, and spare equipment for the Mir.

The Shuttle – Mir link-up occurred at 11:13 pm EDT, 18 Sept., following R-bar approach. Hatches opened at 1:40 am, 19 Sept., and Blaha and Lucid exchanged places at 7 am EDT. Awaiting Blaha on Mir were Valery Korzun, Mir 22 commander, and Alexander Kaleri, flight engineer.

During five days of mated operations, two crews transferred more than 1814 kilograms (3,999.2 lb) of supplies to Mir, including logistics, food and water generated by orbiter fuel cells. Three experiments also were transferred: Biotechnology System (BTS) for study of cartilage development; Material in Devices as Superconductors (MIDAS) to measure electrical properties of high-temperature superconductor materials; and Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA), containing several smaller experiments, including self-contained aquatic systems.

About 907 kilograms (1,999.6 lb) of experiment samples and equipment transferred from Mir to Atlantis; total logistical transfer to and from station of more than 2722 kilograms (6,001 lb) was most extensive to date. During her approximately six-month stay on Mir, Lucid conducted research in following fields: advanced technology, Earth sciences, fundamental biology, human life sciences, microgravity research and space sciences. Specific experiments included: Environmental Radiation Measurements to ascertain ionizing radiation levels aboard Mir; Greenhouse-Integrated Plant Experiments, to study effect of microgravity on plants, specifically dwarf wheat; and Assessment of Humoral Immune Function During Long-Duration Space Flight, to gather data on effect of long-term spaceflight on the human immune system and involving collection of blood serum and saliva samples. Some research conducted in newest and final Mir module, Priroda, which arrived at station during Lucid’s stay.

Three experiments remained on Atlantis: Extreme Temperature Translation Furnace (ETTF), a new furnace design allowing space-based processing up to 871 degrees Celsius (1,600 degrees Fahrenheit) and above; Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG) complement of 128 individual samples involving 12 different proteins; and Mechanics of Granular Materials, designed to further understanding of behavior of cohesionless granular materials, which could in turn lead to better understanding of how Earth’s surface responds during earthquakes and landslides.

As with all Shuttle-Mir flights, risk-mitigation experiments were conducted to help reduce development risk for the International Space Station. Flying for first time was the Active Rack Isolation System (ARIS), an experiment rack designed to cushion payloads from vibration and other disturbances.

Conducted near end of flight was test using orbiter’s small vernier jets to lower Atlantis’ orbit. Similar maneuver may be employed at end of second Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, STS-82
STS-82 was a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission by Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 11 February 1997 and returned to earth on 21 February 1997 at Kennedy Space Center.-Crew:...

, to re-boost Hubble to a higher orbit while still in orbiter payload bay.

See also

  • Space science
    Space science
    The term space science may mean:* The study of issues specifically related to space travel and space exploration, including space medicine.* Science performed in outer space ....

  • Space shuttle
    Space Shuttle
    The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

  • List of space shuttle missions
  • List of human spaceflights chronologically

External links

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