NASA HISTORY: Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches From Cape Canaveral June 27, 1995

By  //  June 27, 2018

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100th U.S. crewed space launch conducted from Cape Canaveral

ABOVE VIDEO:  STS-71 launch & landing.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-71 launched on this day in 1995 from Cape Canaveral, marking a number of firsts in human spaceflight.

The launch was the 100th U.S. crewed space launch conducted from Cape Canaveral and the first docking of the joint U.S.-Russian Shuttle-Mir Program.

The previous mission, STS-63, had approached Mir, but did not dock, and the first on-orbit changeout of a Shuttle crew.

Launch was originally targeted for late May, but slipped into June to accommodate Russian space program activities necessary for the first space shuttle/Mir Space Station docking, including series of spacewalks to reconfigure station for docking and launch of new Spektr module to Mir containing U.S. research hardware.

Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-71 (Atlantis) launched on this day in 1995 from Cape Canaveral, marking a number of firsts in human spaceflight. (NASA Image)

The launch set for June 23 scrubbed when rainy weather and lightning prevented loading of the external tank earlier that day. A second try on June 24 scrubbed at the T-9-minute mark, again due to persistent stormy weather in central Florida, coupled with short 10-minute launch window.

Liftoff reset for June 27, and final countdown proceeded smoothly.

For next five days, about 100 hours total, joint U.S.-Russian operations conducted, including biomedical investigations, and transfer of equipment to and from Mir.

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Fifteen separate biomedical and scientific investigations were conducted, using Spacelab module installed in aft portion of Atlantis’ payload bay, and covering seven different disciplines: cardiovascular and pulmonary functions; human metabolism; neuroscience; hygiene, sanitation and radiation; behavioral performance and biology; fundamental biology; and microgravity research.

Pictured below are crewmembers of STS-71, Mir-18, and Mir-19 inside the Spacelab Science Module.

Crewmembers of STS-71, Mir-18, and Mir-19 inside the Spacelab Science Module. (NASA Image)

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