June 1, 2011
Backdropped against a "floor" of clouds, this view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis was taken by the two Mir-21 cosmonaut crew members onboard Russia's Mir Space Station, during rendezvous and docking operations on March 23, 1996. Part of a solar array panel connected to the Mir is seen in the foreground. The Orbiter Docking System (ODS), the connective tunnel and the Spacehab Module can be seen in Atlantis' cargo bay. With the subsequent delivery of astronaut Shannon W. Lucid to the Mir, the Mir-21 crew grew to three, as the mission specialist quickly becomes a cosmonaut guest researcher. She will spend approximately 140 days on Mir before returning to Earth.
Topics: Mir, Space stations, Manned spacecraft, Environment, Androgynous Peripheral Attach System, Space rendezvous, STS-84, Shuttle–Mir Program, Space Shuttle Atlantis, International Space Station, Spaceflight, Orbiter