STS-79 Mission Specialist John E. Blaha arrives at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility with five fellow astronauts, ready to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). The TCDT is a dress rehearsal for launch for the flight crew and launch team. Over the next several days, the astronauts will take part in training exercises at the launch pad that will culminate in a simulated launch countdown. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for liftoff around September 12 on STS-79, the fourth docking between the U.S. Shuttle and Russian Space Station Mir. During the approximately nine-day flight Blaha will change places with fellow spaceflight veteran Shannon Lucid, who is wrapping up a record-setting stay on Mir. Blaha will remain aboard the station for about four months, returning to Earth in January 1997 with the crew of Shuttle Mission STS-81. (Photo Release Date: 08/25/96 )
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