KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL - Framed by the Vehicle Assembly Building in the distance, at left, and the Mate-Demate Device, the Space Shuttle Atlantis with its drag chute deployed touches down on KSC's Runway 33 at the conclusion of the STS-84 mission. The Shuttle Training Aircraft with astronaut Kenneth D. Cockrell at the controls is flying in front of Atlantis. Cockrell is acting deputy chief of the Astronaut Office. Main gear touchdown was at 9:27:44 EDT on May 24, 1997. The first landing opportunity was waved off because of low cloud cover. It was the 37th landing at KSC since the Shuttle program began in 1981, and the eighth consecutive landing at KSC. STS-84 was the sixth of nine planned dockings of the Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir. Atlantis was docked with the Mir for five days. STS-84 Mission Specialist C. Michael Foale replaced astronaut and Mir 23 crew member Jerry M. Linenger, who has been on the Russian space station since Jan. 15. Linenger returned to Earth on Atlantis with the rest of the STS-84 crew, Mission Commander Charles J. Precourt, Pilot Eileen Marie Collins, and Mission Specialists Carlos I. Noriega, Edward Tsang Lu, Elena V. Kondakova of the Russian Space Agency and Jean-Francois Clervoy of the European Space Agency. Foale is scheduled to remain on the Mir for approximately four months, until he is replaced by STS-86 crew member Wendy B. Lawrence in September. Besides the docking and crew exchange, STS-84 included the transfer of more than 7,300 pounds of water, logistics and science experiments and hardware to and from the Mir. Scientific experiments conducted during the STS-84 mission, and scheduled for Foale's stay on the Mir, are in the fields of advanced technology, Earth sciences, fundamental biology, human life sciences, International Space Station risk mitigation, microgravity sciences and space sciences. (Photo Release Date: 05/24/97 )
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