STS-74: Atlantis returns to Mir

Space ShuttleNASA launches Space Shuttle Atlantis on the 73rd shuttle flight, an eight-day mission to dock with Russian space station Mir. Due to the docking difficulties of the first flight – which required Mir crew members to move one of their station’s modules out of the shuttle’s way temporarily – Atlantis carries a Russian-made docking adapter which adds a tunnel to one of Mir’s docking ports, allowing the shuttle to join up with the station without further module relocation. Atlantis carries Commander Kenneth Cameron, Pilot James Halsell, and mission specialists Jerry Ross, William McArthur and Chris Hadfield to visit Mir; there is no crew exchange on this flight.