STS-79: fourth Shuttle-Mir mission

Space ShuttleAfter multiple delays, including the entire launch stack having to be rolled back into the safety of the Vehicle Assembly Building to protect it from two back-to-back hurricanes, Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on the fourth mission to dock with the Russian Mir space station. Supplies are transferred to Mir, and numerous completed science experiments from Mir are loaded into the shuttle. Atlantis is flown by Commander William Readdy, Pilot Terrence Wilcutt, and mission specialists Thomas Akers, John Blaha, Jay Apt and Carl Walz. Blaha remains on Mir, taking the place of American astronaut Shannon Lucid, who has just set a new American space endurance record of 188 days in orbit; Lucid returns to Earth with the Atlantis crew.