'Waiting For You to Land on Mars': 20 Years Since the STS-81 Mission to Mir (Part 2)

The STS-81 and Mir crews gather for a group portrait in the space station’s base block. Front row, from left, are Mike Baker, John Grunsfeld, John Blaha, and Aleksandr Kaleri. Back row, from left, are Jerry Linenger, Valeri Korzun, Marsha Ivins, Jeff Wisoff, and Brent Jett. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years […]

'Horrendous Gas Mileage': 20 Years Since the STS-81 Mission to Mir (Part 1)

Mir, as viewed from Atlantis on STS-81. The orange-colored Docking Module (DM), at the end of the Kristall module, is visible at the right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, this week, America’s Space Shuttle Program began living up to its billing as a vehicle for delivering experiments, […]

A Pilot for a Space Station: 20 Years Since John Blaha's Lengthy Mission to Mir (Part 2)

For the first time on STS-79, a shuttle crew saw Mir in its complete configuration, with six research and habitation modules. This would form John Blaha’s home for four months from September 1996 through January 1997. Photo Credit: NASA

“ … And liftoff of Atlantis on the fourth flight to dock with the Russian […]

A Space Station Stay Before Retirement: 20 Years Since John Blaha's Lengthy Mission to Mir (Part 1)

John Blaha gazes through Atlantis’ overhead flight deck windows, shortly after docking with Mir in September 1996. Photo Credit: NASA

Of all the NASA astronauts who have flown long-duration space missions—longer than a month or so—very few have moved from the commander’s or pilot’s seat of a space shuttle and rotated into a lengthy […]

Record-Breaker for Women Astronauts: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 2)

For the first time on STS-79, a shuttle crew saw Mir in its complete configuration, with six research and habitation modules. It had been Shannon Lucid’s home for six months and would be John Blaha’s home for the next four. Photo Credit: NASA

A glass half-full, or half-empty, was Bill Readdy’s perspective on the […]

Changing the Guard: 20 Years Since STS-79 (Part 1)

World record holder Shannon Lucid watches the growth of plants in a Russian greenhouse aboard Mir. This photograph was taken in September 1996, shortly after the crew of STS-79, including Lucid’s replacement, John Blaha, arrived to bring her home. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this month, an American national record-breaker circled high above […]

'No Reason For the People Inside to Starve': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 2)

As well as becoming the first woman to serve in the Lead Spacewalker (EV1), Linda Godwin also participated in the first U.S. spacewalk outside a space station since the Skylab era. Her historic EVA with STS-76 crewmate Rich Clifford took place 20 years ago, today, on 27 March 1996. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim […]

'Those Things Don't Happen By Accident': 20 Years Since 'The Spirit of '76' (Part 1)

STS-76 was the fourth shuttle mission to rendezvous, and the third to dock, with Russia’s Mir space station. It also marked the first shuttle mission to deliver a long-duration crew member and return to Earth with a smaller crew than that with which it launched. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years ago, […]

'Ice Cream Sandwiches': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 2)

The orange-colored Docking Module (DM) is clearly visible at the extreme end of the Kristall module in this view of Mir, as seen by the departing crew of STS-74. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

For 15 years, Americans and Russians have lived together, on a continuous basis, aboard the International Space Station (ISS). […]

'A Real Thrill': 20 Years Since the Second Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 1)

Becoming the first Canadian to operate the shuttle’s Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS), Chris Hadfield installs the Docking Module (DM) atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS), ahead of the shuttle’s second docking mission to Mir, 20 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The second is rarely remembered in the same […]