The 100th U.S. human space launch is under way with an on-time liftoff at 3:32:19.044 p.m. EDT, June 27, from Launch Pad 39A. The flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Mission STS-71 will be historic for another reason as well: It will feature the first docking between the U.S. Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir. Linkup with Mir is set for June 29 at 9:05 a.m. EDT, and will be followed by about 100 hours of docked operations between the crews on board Mir and Atlantis. Atlantis is carrying an American-Russian crew: STS-71 Mission Commander Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson; STS-71 Pilot Charles J. Precourt; STS-71 Payload Commander Dr. Ellen S. Baker; STS-71 Mission Specialists Gregory J. Harbaugh and Bonnie J. Dunbar; and two Russian cosmonauts, Mir 19 Mission Commander Anatoly Y. Solovyev and Mir 19 Flight Engineer Nikolai M. Budarin. Joint scientific investigations will be conducted while the two spacecraft are docked, and a changeout of the crew on Mir will be completed. Budarin and Solovyev will transfer to the space station and remain there, and the three crew members currently on Mir, U.S. astronaut Dr. Norm Thagard, Mir 18 Mission Commander Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Mir 18 Flight Engineer Gennadiy M. Strekalov, will return to Earth in Atlantis. (Photo Release Date: 6/27/95 )
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