The highly successful Mission STS-74 comes to a smooth conclusion as the orbiter Atlantis returns to Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis touched down on Runway 33 of the Shuttle Landing Facility at 12:01:27 p.m. EST, November 20. The final Space Shuttle flight of 1995 marked the second docking of the U.S. Space Shuttle to the Russian Space Station Mir. To simplify the remaining five Shuttle-Mir docking currently scheduled, the five astronauts on Atlantis attached a Russian-built Docking Module to Mir during the eight-day mission. Two solar arrays were stowed on the module, which will serve as a permanent extension to the Kristall docking port on the station. Atlantis' crew and the three cosmonauts on Mir also transferred materials to and from the station. Leading the STS-74 crew is Commander Kenneth D. Cameron; James D. Halsell Jr. is the pilot; the three mission specialists are Jerry L. Ross, William S. "Bill" McArthur Jr. and Chris A. Hadfield, who represents the Canadian Space Agency. This was the 27th end-of-mission landing at KSC in Shuttle program history. The Shuttle-Mir dockings are one aspect of Phase 1 activities leading the way toward the international space station; the United States, Russian, Canada, Japan and a group of European nations have joined together to build the orbiting outpost in space later this decade. (Photo Release Date: 11/20/95 )
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