Spaceflight is the movement of spacecraft into and through outer space, primarily using rocket technology for propulsion. Spaceflight is used in space exploration, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities like space tourism and satellite telecommunications. It is generally based on the use of rockets to transport machines, animals, and humans to, and subsequently through, space. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories, reconnaissance satellites and other earth observation satellites. Objects launched into space may follow a sub-orbital trajectory and return to Earth immediately, stay in orbit around Earth, travel in the space between the planets, or aim to leave the space dominated by the Sun completely.
was the third mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program
and the first Space Shuttle
docking to Russian space station Mir
. It started on June 27, 1995 with the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis
from launch pad 39A
at the Kennedy Space Center
As part of the mission, Atlantis engaged in the Shuttle program's first space station crew transfer. The shuttle delivered the Mir Expedition 19 crew of Anatoly Solovyev and Nikolai Budarin; and returned the Expedition 18 crew of cosmonauts Gennadi Strekalov and Vladimir Dezhurov, and astronaut Norman Thagard. It was the first of seven straight missions to Mir flown by Atlantis.
For the five days the shuttle was docked to Mir they were the largest spacecraft in orbit at the time. In addition to the crew transfer, STS-71 marked the first docking of a space shuttle to a space station, and the 100th manned space launch by the United States. The mission carried Spacelab, and included a logistical resupply of Mir. Together the shuttle and station crews conducted various on-orbit joint US/Russian life science investigations with Spacelab along with the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II) experiment.
Atlantis returned to Earth on July 7, becoming the first mission to land with a crew of eight since STS-61-A in 1985.
Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalyov
: , born August 27, 1958) is a Russian cosmonaut
and mechanical engineer
. As a prominent rocket scientist
, he has been veteran of six space flights and currently has spent more time in space than any other human being. He transliterates his name in English as Sergei Krikalev
On August 16, 2005 at 1:44 a.m. EDT he passed the record of 748 days held by Sergei Avdeyev. He now has spent a total of 803 days and 9 hours and 39 minutes in space.
Krikalev was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. He enjoys swimming, skiing, cycling, aerobatic flying, and amateur radio operations, particularly from space (callsigns U5MIR and X75M1K).
On February 15, 2007, Krikalev was appointed Vice President of the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (Russian- ? "?" . ?.?.) in charge of manned space flights.
Krikalev was dubbed by many "the last Citizen of the USSR " as in 1991-1992 he spent 311 days, 20 hours and 1 minute aboard the Mir space station while, back on Earth, the Soviet Union collapsed. A fictional account of how Krikalev may have felt about this is described in the song "Casiopea", written by Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodríguez.
Next scheduled launch
On This Day
Did you know...
...that a CubeSat (pictured) is a cube, 10 centimetres in all dimensions, weighing less than one kilogram?
- ...that when investigating the Challenger accident, Richard Feynman threatened to remove his name from the report unless it included his personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle?
- ...that astronauts can't burp in space? A burp would need gravity to separate the liquid from the gas in their stomach.