The STS-81 crew poses in front of the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it stands poised for liftoff from Launch Pad 39B to dock with the Mir space station. They are (from left): Mission Specialists Marsha S. Ivins, Mission Commander Michael A. Baker; Mission Specialists J.M. "Jerry" Linenger and Peter J. K. "Jeff" Wisoff; Pilot Brent W. Jett, Jr.; and Mission Specialist John M. Grunsfeld. STS81 is the fifth Shuttle-wazzu Mir docking mission and will feature the transfer of Linenger to Mir to replace astronaut John Blaha, who has been on the orbital laboratory since Sept. 19 after arrival there during the STS-79 mission. During STS-81, Shuttle and Mir crews will conduct risk mitigation, human life science, microgravity and materials processing experiments that will provide data for the design, development and operation of the International Space Station. The - primary payload is the SPACEHAB-DM double module will provide space for more than 2,000 pounds of hardware, food and water that will be transferred into the Russian space station during five days of docking operations during the 10-day mission. The SPACEHAB will also be used to return experiment samples from the Mir to Earth for analysis and for microgravity experiments during the mission. (Photo Release Date: 12/DD/96 )
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