STS -79 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis ( OV -104 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 16 September 1996. It was the 79th Space Shuttle mission and the 17th flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the sixth flight as part of the Shuttle -Mir program, and the fourth coupling of the shuttle to the Mir space station.


Shuttle crew

  • William Readdy ( third space flight), Commander
  • Terrence Wilcutt ( second space flight), Pilot
  • Thomas Akers ( 4 space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Jerome Apt ( fourth space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Carl Walz ( third space flight), Mission Specialist

Mir Crew Departure

  • John Blaha ( 5 spacecraft )


  • Jerry Linenger for Blaha

Mir Crew Return

  • Shannon Lucid ( 5 spacecraft )

(after a flight time of 188 days, returned to Earth 4 hours and 0 minutes; way with STS -76)

Mission Description

The fourth flight of a space shuttle to the space station Mir was primarily used to transport 2.3 tonnes of equipment to the station. In addition, Shannon Lucid was replaced after half a year in space by her colleague John Blaha. Some experiments in Spacehab completed the program of work of the occupation.

On the third day of flying the Atlantis docked with the coupling module of the Russian space station. Thereafter, water containers, food, clothing, equipment and American experiments were brought to the station. Were brought back to earth, especially of different experiments and old appliances samples. For the first time were all provided for transporting objects with a bar code. This could be detected accurately what materials had already been brought to the space station ( Inventory Management System ). This included also the experiments BioTechnology system to study the growth of cartilage cells, Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus for monitoring of growth processes in plants and material in Devices as Superconductors for the investigation of high-temperature superconductors. All systems were housed in the new station module Priroda. While the shared flight several thruster firings were made in order to test a system designed to protect the sensitive experiments from external forces (Active Rack Isolation System ARIS). Primarily low frequency vibrations from 0.003 to 300 Hz are attenuated. Same time it was collected, how the forces affect the stability of the entire complex I / shuttle. In addition, with a special IMAX film camera high-resolution images of the facilities of the station and the space shuttle were made.

On board the Atlantis various scientific experiments have been made. Thus, it was investigated as fissures and cracks in cast or sintered metals accounts (Extreme Temperature Translation Furnace). In addition, protein crystals were prepared to be used as medicines for asthmatic and allergic diseases (Commercial Protein Crystal Growth ). Further studies were devoted to the mechanical strength and stiffness of granules ( Mechanics of Granular Materials), the disturbance of radio transmissions by interference (Mir Electric Field Characterization ) and the determination of the radiation exposure and its effects on coliform bacteria and plasmid DNA (Real -time Radiation Monitoring Device ).

Press conferences and contacts with radio amateurs relaxed everyday a little. The Atlantis landed on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.