Space Shuttle Discovery becomes the last American shuttle to visit space station Mir during a ten-day mission launched on this date. The historic mission is marred slightly by a communications malfunction which makes live TV transmissions from orbit impossible. In addition to retrieving American science experiment packages from Mir, a cargo-bay-mounted experiment to detect dark matter is also conducted. Supplies are also off-loaded onto Mir. Aboard Discovery for her 24th flight are Commander Charles Precourt, Pilot Dominic Gorie, and mission specialists Wendy Lawrence, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Janet Kavandi and Valery Ryumin. Mir astronaut Andrew Thomas, the last American to visit the Russian station, returns to Earth aboard Discovery.