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Part of Mir
Credit: www.spacefacts.de
Transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from Mir.

AKA: Atlantis;Spacehab Double Module. Launched: 1997-01-12. Returned: 1997-01-22. Number crew: 5 . Duration: 10.21 days.

After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape).

Cargo Bay Payloads: SPACEHAB-Double Module; Orbiter Docking System. In-Cabin Payloads: VIS; Biorack; KidSat; CREAM; Orbiter Space Vision System; MSX.

Developmental Test Objectives Detailed Supplementary Objectives Risk Mitigation Experiments

  • DTO 255: Wraparound DAP Flight Test Verification
  • DTO 256 Alt PRCS Flight Test
  • DTO 312: ET TPS Performance
  • DTO 700-10: Orbiter Space Vision System Flight Video Taping
  • DTO 700-12: GPS/Inertial Navigation System Test
  • DTO 700-14: Single String Global Positioning System Test
  • DTO 805: Crosswind Landing Performance
  • DTO 840: Hand Held Lidar Procedures
  • DTO 1118: Photographic and Video Survey of Mir Space Station
  • DTO 1125: Measurements of Dose as a Function of Shielding Thickness
  • DSO 487: Immunological Assessment of Crewmembers
  • RME 1302: Electric Fields High Inclination for the Mir
  • RME 1303: Shuttle/Mir Experiment Kit Transportation
  • RME 1307: Optical Properties Monitor
  • RME 1317: Mir Structural Dynamics Experiment Joint Operations
  • RME 1318: Treadmill Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System (TVIS)
  • RME 1319: Inventory Management System Test for the SPACEHAB
  • Payload And Vehicle Masses: Orbiter (Atlantis) empty and 3 SSME's 81,975 kg; Shuttle System at SRB Ignition 2,046,619 kg; Orbiter Weight at Landing with Cargo 113,375 kg; Spacehab-Double Module 4,774 kg; Orbiter Docking System 1,821 kg.

    NASA Official Mission Summary:

    (5th Shuttle-Mir docking)
    Pad B
    81st Shuttle mission
    18th flight OV-104
    5th Shuttle-Mir docking
    4th U.S. crew member on Mir
    34th KSC landing
    Michael A. Baker, Commander (4th Shuttle flight)
    Brent W. Jett Jr., Pilot (2nd)
    Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff, Mission Specialist (3rd)
    John M. Grunsfeld, Mission Specialist (2nd)
    Marsha S. Ivins, Mission Specialist (4th)
    Embarking to Mir Mir 22/23 crew member: Jerry M. Linenger, Mission Specialist and Cosmonaut Researcher (2nd Shuttle, 1st Mir)
    Returning from Mir Mir 22 crew member: John E. Blaha, Mission Specialist and Cosmonaut Researcher (5th Shuttle, 1st Mir)
    Orbiter Preps (move to):
    OPF - Sept. 26, 1996
    VAB - Dec. 5, 1996
    Pad - Dec. 10, 1996


    January 12, 1997, 4:27:23 a.m. EST. Liftoff occurred on time following smooth countdown.


    January 22, 1997, 9:22:44 a.m. EST, Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Rollout distance: 9,350 feet (2,850 meters). Rollout time: One minute, nine seconds. Mission duration: 10 days, four hours, 55 minutes, 21 seconds. Landed revolution 160, on the second KSC opportunity for the day.

    Mission Highlights:

    First Shuttle flight of 1997 highlighted by return of U.S. astronaut John Blaha to Earth after 118-day stay aboard Russian Space Station Mir and the largest transfer to date of logistics between the two spacecraft. Atlantis also returned carrying the first plants to complete a life cycle in space - a crop of wheat grown from seed to seed. This fifth of nine planned dockings continued Phase 1B of the NASA/Russian Space Agency cooperative effort, with Linenger becoming the third U.S. astronaut in succession to live on Mir. Same payload configuration flown on previous docking flight - featuring SPACEHAB Double module - flown again. Blaha joined Mir 22 crew of Commander Valeri Korzun and Flight Engineer Aleksandr Kaleri on Sept. 19, 1996, when he arrived there with the crew of STS-79. Linenger was to work with the Mir 22 crew until the arrival in February of the Mir 23 crew of Commander Vasili Tsibliev, Flight Engineer Aleksandr Lazutkin and German researcher Reinhold Ewald. Ewald was to return to Earth with the Mir 22 cosmonauts after a brief stay on the station. Astronaut Michael Foale will replace Linenger on Mir when the STS-84 mission arrives in May 1997.

    Docking occurred at 10:55 p.m. EST, Jan. 14, followed by hatch opening at 12:57 a.m., Jan. 15. Linenger officially traded places at 4:45 a.m. with Blaha who spent 118 days on the station and 128 days total on-orbit. During five days of mated operations, crews transferred nearly 6,000 pounds (2,722 kilograms) of logistics to Mir, including around 1,600 pounds of water; around 1,138 pounds of U.S. science equipment; and 2,206 pounds of Russian logistical equipment. About 2,400 pounds of materials returned with Atlantis from Mir.

    Crew also tested on Shuttle the Treadmill Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System (TVIS), designed for use in the Russian Service Module of the International Space Station. Another activity related to International Space Station involved firing the orbiter's small vernier jet thrusters during mated operations to gather engineering data.

    Undocking occurred at 9:15 p.m. EST, Jan. 19, followed by flyaround of Mir.

    No significant in-flight anomalies experienced with orbiter.

    More at: STS-81.

    Family: Manned spaceflight. People: Baker, Mike, Grunsfeld, Ivins, Jett, Wisoff. Country: USA. Spacecraft: Atlantis. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral. Agency: NASA, NASA Houston.

    1997 January 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
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