The Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) nears its culmination as the STS-79 astronauts exit the Operations and Checkout Building and head for the launch pad. Leading the way are Pilot Terrence W. Wilcutt (front left) and Commander William F. Readdy. Behind them are, from left, Mission Specialists Jay Apt, Tom Akers, Carl E. Walz and John E. Blaha. Once at the pad, the astronauts will climb into the Space Shuttle Atlantis and participate in a simulated countdown. Emergency egress training exercises at the pad also are conducted as part of the TCDT, a dress rehearsal for launch. Atlantis is undergoing preparations for liftoff on the fourth Shuttle-Mir docking flight no earlier than Sept. 12. (Photo Release Date: 08/28/96 )

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