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Old 02-04-2006, 01:46 PM
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The STS-76 Atlantis launched 22 March 1996, from Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the 76th Shuttle Mission and the 3rd MIR docking.

The crew consisted of Kevin P. Chilton, Commander; Richard A. Searfoss, Pilot; and Mission Specialists Shannon W. Lucid, Linda M. Godwin, Michael R. Clifford, and Ronald M. Sega.

The primary mission objective was the third docking between the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir. It included a crew transfer, an extravehicular activity (EVA), logistics operations and scientific research.

Rendezvous and docking with Mir was on flight day three using the same approach as previously used during STS-74. Docking occured between the Orbiter Docking System in the forward area of Atlantis' payload bay and the Docking Module installed during STS-74 on Mir's Kristall module docking port.

The mission also featured a SPACEHAB module, middeck experiments, a Get Away Special (GAS) canister and a 6-hour EVA.

Over 1,900 pounds (862 kilograms) of equipment were being transfered from Atlantis to Mir including a gyrodyne, transformer, batteries, food, water, film and clothing. Launch was at 3:13:04 a.m. EST, with 145 (estimated) orbits.

The mission lasted 9 days, 5 hours, 16 minutes, and 48 seconds, with the shuttle traveling and estimated 3.8 million miles. Landing was at Edwards AFB (EAFB) 31 March 1996, at 8:28:57 a.m. EST, on Runway 22. Conditions at EAFB were clear and calm with no weather concerns. Landing was 11 min before daylight at 5:29 a.m. local time, which is considered a daylight landing under flight rules.

The deorbit burn fired at 7:24 a.m. EST. Atlantis executed a 275 degree left overhead turn into the landing strip and twin sonic booms were heard at Edwards 3 minutes before landing. Main gear touchdown occurred at 9 days 5 hours 15 min. 53 sec. or 8:28:57 EST.
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