STS-74 Day 9 Highlights

On Monday, November 20, 1995, 5 a.m. CST, STS-74 MCC Status Report # 06 reports:

Fresh from a successful docking with the Russian Mir Space Station, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and its crew are primed for landing today at Kennedy Space Center.in Florida.

Commander Ken Cameron, Pilot Jim Halsell and Mission Specialists Chris Hadfield, Jerry Ross and Bill McArthur are conducting the final checks of the shuttle's steering systems this morning and watching Florida weather, which is forecast to be favorable. Today's first landing opportunity begins with a deorbit burn at 9:58 a.m. JSC time and concludes with landing at 11:02 a.m. The second opportunity involves a deorbit burn at 11:33 a.m. and landing at 12:37 p.m.

Although weather is expected to be good at Edwards Air Force Base in California, landing support teams have not been activated there. If landing does not occur at KSC today, there are opportunities at both sites Tuesday.

Because the astronauts awakened about 12:30 a.m. today and will land around midday, they are expected to remain in Florida overnight. A welcome home ceremony is being planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Ellington Field's Hangar 990.

Atlantis' return to Earth follows a successful docking with Mir and delivery of the Russian Docking Module that now becomes a permanent docking port for future Phase 1 missions to the space station. The STS-74 crew also participated in a number of joint medical and environmental investigations with the Mir crew -- Commander Yuri Gidzenko, Flight Engineer Sergei Avdeyev and Cosmonaut Researcher Thomas Reiter of Germany. Atlantis delivered water, supplies and equipment--including two new solar arrays--to Mir and is returning with U.S., Russian and ESA experiment equipment and samples.

The astronauts of the second shuttle-Mir docking flight also studied the Earth's thermosphere, ionosphere and mesosphere with the GPP experiment, and evaluated Mir's solar array structures remotely through three Photogrammetric Appendage Structural Dynamics Experiment canisters in the payload bay.

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