June 2, 2011
Russia's Mir Space Station backdropped over Earth's horizon as the Space Shuttle Atlantis performs its final fly around following undocking operations. This photograph is one of four 70mm frames (along with fifteen 35mm frames) of still photography documenting the activities of NASA's STS-79 mission, which began with a September 16, 1996, liftoff from Launch Pad 39A the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and ended with a landing at KSC on September 26, 1996. Onboard for the launch were astronauts William F. Readdy, commander; Terrence W. Wilcutt, pilot; John E. Blaha, Jerome (Jay) Apt, Thomas D. Akers and Carl E. Walz, all mission specialists. On flight day 4, the crew docked with Mir. Shannon W. Lucid, who had spent six months aboard Mir, switched cosmonaut guest researcher roles with Blaha. The latter joined fellow Mir-22 crew members Valery G. Korzun, commander, and Aleksandr Y. Kaleri, flight engineer.
Topics: Test pilots, Manned spacecraft, Spaceflight, Soyuz TM-24, Carl E. Walz, Thomas Akers, STS-79, John E. Blaha, Terrence W. Wilcutt, Valery Korzun, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Mir