STS -71 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis ( OV -104 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 27 June 1995. It was the 69th Space Shuttle mission and the 14th flight of Atlantis. During the third flight as part of the Shuttle -Mir program, the first coupling of a U.S. space shuttle took place at the Mir space station. It was also ( according to U.S. Census ) of the 100th American manned space flight and the 22 manned mission to Mir.


Shuttle crew

  • Robert Gibson ( 5 spacecraft ), Commander
  • Charles Precourt ( second space flight), Pilot
  • Ellen Baker ( third space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Bonnie Dunbar (4th space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Gregory Harbaugh ( third space flight), Mission Specialist

Mir Crew Departure

  • Anatoly Solovyov ( 4 Space ), Commander
  • Nikolai Budarin ( first space flight), flight engineer

This was the third time that Russian cosmonauts in the American Space Shuttle flew, but the first time that a Russian space newcomer belonged to the crew.


  • Yuri Soloviev Onufrienko for
  • Alexander Poleschtschuk for Budarin

Mir Crew Return

  • Vladimir Dezhurov ( first space flight )
  • Gennadi Strekalow ( 6 spaceflight )
  • Norman Thagard ( 5 spacecraft )

On landing were eight instead of the usual seven astronauts on board. That it had previously only played in the mission STS -61 -A.

Mission Description

A high point in the cooperation between the United States and Russia in space represented the first coupling of a space shuttle with the Mir space station dar. First, the Atlantis flew into a very low orbit to reduce the distance to the station quickly. After several corrections the space shuttle approached the station up to about 14 kilometers. After another mission in orbit decreased Commander Gibson orbit of Atlantis slightly so that it approached the space station from below. After another short stop took place on June 29 at 13:00 UTC for linking the two spacecraft. Mir and Atlantis, thus representing the hitherto largest artificial earth satellites. After checking the connection, the two commanders opened the hatches and greeted each other warmly.

For flight program included in the following years several interviews of various television and radio stations. Especially the spaceman, however, were employed with medical examinations and the transport of various materials in both directions. Thus came new equipment, such as SVET, mini greenhouse, where especially the root growth was studied in zero gravity, and water in the space station. Discarded appliances and laboratory material, however, were stowed in the space shuttle, including a variety of blood, urine and saliva samples. The new crew of the space station, Anatoly Solovyov and Nikolai Budarin, also brought with individually tailored spacesuits and seats for the docked Soyuz TM -21.

The medical examinations were largely held in Spacelab, which was located in the cargo bay of Atlantis. Here more blood and tissue samples were taken, heart and lung function examines the state of the muscle and nervous system as well as the response and performance of the long-term airmen measured. In order to facilitate the adaptation to gravity after landing, was also an intense workout with a treadmill and a cycle ergometer to the program. Multiple also a suit was worn, the abdomen of the spaceman more burdened by a negative pressure ( Lower Body Negative Pressure ). With a similar device had already been working aboard the station ( Chibis ). These tests showed the U.S. For the first studies to longer stays in weightlessness since 1974 dar. time a flight record of 84 days had been set up.

When you drop the Atlantis was filmed from aboard the spaceship Soyuz TM- 21. For this purpose, the cosmonauts Solovyov and Budarin had with their spaceship decoupled 15 minutes before the shuttle, and a few hundred meters from the station. The Atlantis returned on July 7, with the long-term airmen Dezhurov, Strekalow and Thagard back to Earth and landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.