Will the Space Shuttle Atlantis or the turtle reach Launch Pad 39B first? Carried atop the Mobile Launch Platform on the 6-million-pound Crawler Transporter, Shuttle Atlantis departs the Vehicle Assembly Building en route to Pad B at a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour. No one clocked the turtle, which seems to be heading in the same direction. Atlantis is tentatively scheduled to lift off on a nine-day mission on Jan. 12. STS-81 will be the fifth Shuttle-Mir docking. The six-member crew at liftoff will include Mission Specialist J.M. Linenger, who will transfer to the Russian Mir Space Station for an extended stay, replacing astronaut John E. Blaha, who will return to Earth on Atlantis. (Photo Release Date: 12/10/96 )

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STS-81 KSC Photo IndexNext Image KSC-96EC-1345

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