STS -84 (English Space Transportation System) is a mission name for the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis ( OV -104 ) from NASA. The launch took place on 15 May 1997. It was the 84th Space Shuttle mission, the 19th flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the eighth flight as part of the Shuttle -Mir Program and the sixth coupling of a U.S. space shuttle to the Mir space station.


Shuttle crew

  • Charles Precourt ( third space flight), Commander
  • Eileen Collins ( second space flight), pilot
  • Carlos Noriega ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Edward Lu ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Jean -François Clervoy ( second space flight), Mission Specialist (ESA / France)
  • Yelena Kondakova ( 2nd space flight), Mission Specialist ( Roscosmos / Russia)

Mir Crew Departure

  • Michael Foale (4th space flight )


  • James Voss for Foale

Mir Crew Return

  • Jerry Linenger ( second space flight )

(after a flight time of 132 days, 4 hours and 1 minutes returned to Earth; way with STS- 81)

Mission Description

Main tasks of the Mir docking mission 6 were material and crew transportation. Michael Foale became the regular place in the station of Jerry Linenger, who returned with the Atlantis to Earth after four months of flight. Also on board was a Spacehab double module in which various biological experiments were performed with the Biorack. The Biorack contained several chambers and centrifuges, in which different strong gravitational forces could be simulated. The study tested the effects of weightlessness and cosmic radiation on plant roots, protozoa and white blood cells. A special radiation monitor records the intensity of the incident cosmic radiation over the entire flight duration.

The experiments with the Biorack were continued even after the coupling of the space shuttle to the station. Commander and pilot were employed in the first few days exclusively with the approach maneuver. After commissioning and testing of navigation systems an additional camera was installed, which must be precisely aligned to the target in the cross coupling adapter of the space station. The docking manually control worked as planned, 42 hours after the start.

The main task during the joint flight was transporting 249 articles between the two spacecraft. These included mainly drinking water, equipment and research materials. Thus, a protein crystal growth unit was transported to the Atlantis, while a new oxygen generator was brought aboard the station in the opposite direction. During the mission, a series of photographs of the station was made, which is to allow statements about her condition after ten years of flight. Also the air and water samples were collected in the station, which were subsequently analyzed on the ground. Various interviews and video conferencing made ​​for short breathers. Above all, Michael Foale, who is of British descent, and Carlos Noriega, who was born in Peru, were in demand. In addition, an ESA astronaut and a Russian spaceflight aboard the Atlantis were.

Jerry Linenger and Michael Foale regulated during which the handover procedures. Linenger returned after 132 days aboard the Mir space station with the Atlantis back to Earth. His place in the Spektr module took over Michael Foale, who was taken from his Russian colleagues Tsiblijew and Lasutkin familiar with the station.

While the shared flight of Atlantis and Mir various load tests were carried out. By igniting the maneuvering thrusters of the shuttle or the space station in particular the coupling adapter and the solar panels are exposed to high loads. The stability of these structures was measured under various conditions. These studies should also allow conclusions about the stability of the future International Space Station.

After five days of hard work the hatches were closed and the Atlantis decoupled from the Mir space station. A spring mechanism pushed the two spacecraft apart about half a meter before the steering engines of the space shuttle could be ignited. At intermediate stops in 30, 100, 500 and 1,000 meters developed by the ESA approach system has been tested based on lasers. With him accurate data can be obtained over a distance and relative speed. The usual flying around the station accounted so this time. While astronaut Linenger reinforced on the treadmill trained his muscles, his colleagues prepared everything for the return. All apparatus were backed up, turned off the systems of Spacehab and tested the navigation instruments. Since all tests ran successfully, the Atlantis landed on schedule after nine days before landing at Cape Canaveral.