STS-79 Mission Specialist John E. Blaha addresses news media gathered for the flight crew's late night arrival at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility. A veteran space traveler who served as either commander or pilot on his four previous Shuttle flights, Blaha is taking a mission specialist's slot on STS-79 because he will be transferring to the Russian Space Station Mir for an extended stay. American astronaut Shannon Lucid will take his place aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the return trip home. Final preparations are under way for launch of Atlantis on Mission STS-79, with liftoff scheduled to occur during an approximately seven-minute window opening at 4:54 a.m. EDT, Sept.16. (Photo Release Date: 09/13/96 )
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