June 8, 2011
The seven American astronauts who spent time as researchers aboard Russia's Mir space station are pictured in a studio portrait in Houston following the return of the final joint U.S.-Russian mission. From the left (front row) are astronauts Norman E. Thagard, John E. Blaha, Jerry L. Linenger and David A. Wolf; and (back row) Andrew S.W. Thomas, Shannon W. Lucid and C. Michael Foale. Dr. Thagard was the cosmonaut/researcher for the Russian Mir 18 mission. Liftoff was from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan on March 14, 1995. The mission culminated in a landing at the Kennedy Space Center in the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-71) on July 7, 1995. Lucid served as a Board Engineer 2 on Russia's Space Station Mir (launching March 22, 1996, aboard STS-76 and returning September 26, 1996, aboard STS-79). Blaha launched on STS-79 on September 16, 1996. After docking he transferred to the Mir Space Station. Blaha returned to Earth aboard STS-81 on January 22, 1997. Linenger launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-81) on January 12, 1997, remained onboard the space station with two Russian cosmonauts upon undocking of the Shuttle, and eventually returned upon a different mission of Atlantis (STS-84) on May 24, 1997-spending a total of 132 days, 4 hours, 1 minute in space. Foale spent 4 months aboard the Russian Space Station Mir. He launched with the crew of STS-84 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 15, 1997. Following docking, he joined the crew aboard Mir on May 17, 1997, and returned on October 6, 1997, with the crew of STS-86 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. On September 25, 1997, Dr. Wolf launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis as part of the STS-86 crew. Following docking, September 28, 1997, marked the official start of his 119 days aboard Mir. He returned with the crew of STS-89 aboard Shuttle Endeavour on January 31, 1998. Mission duration was 128 days. On January 22, 1998, Dr. Thomas launched aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour as part of the STS-89 crew to dock with the Mir Space Station. He served aboard Mir as Flight Engineer 2 and returned to Earth with the crew of STS-91 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on June 12, 1998, completing 141 days in space and 2,250 orbits of Earth.
Topics: Human spaceflight, Spaceflight, Space exploration, Disaster Accident, STS-71, STS-84, STS-76, STS-86, STS-79, STS-81, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Mir, Manned spacecraft, David A. Wolf, C. Michael Foale