STS-79 Day 8 Highlights
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- On Monday, September 23, 1996, 7:30 a.m. CDT, STS-79 MCC Status Report # 15
- The Atlantis and Mir crews bid one another an emotional farewell early
this morning and then closed the hatches between their two spacecraft
in preparation for this evening's undocking.
- Shortly before 5 a.m. central time today, the nine astronauts and
cosmonauts gathered in the Core Module of the Russian space station
for a formal goodbye.
- With the official ceremony complete, the crewmembers shared a final
meal together and exchanged private farewells as Shannon Lucid
prepared to return home in Atlantis and her replacement on Mir, John
Blaha, began a four month stay on the outpost.
- Shortly after 7 a.m. today, Mission Specialists Carl Walz and Jay Apt
and Mir 22 Commander Valery Korzun with assistance from Flight
Engineer 2 John Blaha, swung the hatches between their spacecraft
closed concluding five days of joint operations. The vestibule
between Atlantis and Mir was depressurized and leak checks were
performed in readiness for undocking, which is planned at 8:33
- Atlantis/Mir will remain linked during an abbreviated six-hour sleep
period for the crewmembers which begins at 12:54 p.m. today. A
wake-up call from Mission Control is expected at 6:54 p.m. when the
crew quickly step into the undocking timeline. Shortly after 10:30
p.m., Commander Bill Readdy will fire Atlantis' engines in a
separation burn to move away from Mir for the final time until
Atlantis' return to the station in January.
- The final day of joint operations began shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday
with the crews completing final transfer activities and verifying the
inventory lists of materials. More than a ton of water was
transferred to Mir, along with logistical supplies, food and
scientific hardware. Early this morning the combined crews also took
time to discuss their mission with reporters in the U.S. and Russia
during an in-flight crew news conference.
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