The Space Shuttle Atlantis breaks free from its Earthly ties and soars toward the stars. The five astronauts assigned to Mission STS-74 are headed for an historic rendezvous in space: the second docking of the U.S. Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir. Atlantis lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at 7:30:43.071 a.m. EST, Nov. 12. The mission commander is Kenneth D. Cameron; James D. Halsell Jr. is the pilot, and the three mission specialists are Jerry L. Ross, William S. "Bill" McArthur Jr., and Chris A. Hadfield, who represents the Canadian Space Agency. The profile of Mission STS-74 represents a direct precursor to the types of activities flight crews will carry out during assembly and operation of the international space station later this decade. During their eight-day spaceflight, the crew will deliver a Russian-built Docking Module to Mir. The Docking Module will be attached to the docking port on Mir's Kristall module to serve as a permanent extension to the station to simplify future linkups with the Shuttle. The Shuttle astronauts and the three cosmonauts on Mir also will transfer logistics materials to and from Mir. (Photo Release Date: 11/12/95 )

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