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STS 76



STS 76 was a US shuttle mission launched from Cape Canaveral. The primary mission objective was the third docking between the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir. It included a crew transfer, an extravehicular activity (EVA), logistics operations and scientific research.

Rendezvous and docking with Mir was scheduled to occur on flight day three using the same approach as previously used during STS-74. Docking occured between the Orbiter Docking System in the forward area of Atlantis' payload bay and the Docking Module installed during STS-74 on Mir's Kristall module docking port.

The mission also featured a SPACEHAB module, middeck experiments, a Get Away Special (GAS) canister and a 6-hour EVA. Over 1,900 pounds (862 kilograms) of equipment are being transfered from Atlantis to Mir including a gyrodyne, transformer, batteries, food, water, film and clothing.

Planned Experiments included the Mir Electric Field Characterization (MEFC) experiment, numerious European Space Agency's (ESA) Biorack life sciences experiments, the Queen's University Experiment in Liquid Diffusion (QUELD) experiment, the Optizone Liquid Phase Sintering Experiment (OLIPSE) and a Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Get Away Special (GAS) payload Trapped Ions in Space (TRIS) experiment. TRIS measured low-energy particle radiation in the inner magnetosphere. Another experiment conducted on Mir during STS-76 was the Mir Wireless Network Experiment (WNE) which was launched on STS-74 in November 1995. It tested the first wireless client-server network in the space environment.

The mission also included KidSat, a prototype of Earth viewing cameras and instruments that allows students in grades Kindergarden to Grade 12 (K-12) to see and direct the capture of pictures from space.

Mission Specialists Godwin and Clifford perform a six-hour spacewalk on flight day six. They attached four experiments, known collectively as the Mir Environmental Effects Payload MEEP, onto handrails located on the Mir Docking Module. These experiments include the Polished Plate Micrometeoroid Debris (PPMD) experiment, the Orbital Debris Collector (ODC) experiment, and the Passive Optical Samples (POSA) I and II experiments.

Alternate Names

  • 23831
  • STS76

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1996-03-22
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 6753 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Flight (United States)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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