The 10 astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the Atlantis-Mir space complex are spending their first full day of joint operations exchanging American crew members on the Russian complex and beginning the transfer of more than four tons of logistical supplies.
Shortly before 11 a.m. central time today, Dave Wolf’s custom made Soyuz seatliner should be transferred from Atlantis to Mir marking the official start of his stay on Mir. With that transfer, Mike Foale will conclude 134 days as a Mir crew member and board Atlantis as a member of the STS-86 crew. Over the course of the next few days, Foale will spend considerable time with Wolf, acquainting him with his new home and showing him the location of experiments and hardware.
Much of the joint crews’ day will be spent transferring logistical supplies between the two spacecraft. In addition to transferring more than four tons of material from Atlantis to Mir, the crew members will move science return items, experiment hardware and other supplies from Mir to Atlantis for a return trip to Earth. Five bags of water totalling more than 500 pounds should be transferred to the Mir by the end of the day. In all, a total of 17 bags of water totalling 1400 pounds will have been transferred by the time Atlantis undocks from the Mir on Friday.
Also on tap today is the Mir Structural Dynamics Experiment which will measure the effects of jet firings and crew exercise on the Shuttle-Mir complex. Data gathered through this experiment will be used in performing structural dynamics evaluations for the International Space Station.
Late this afternoon, Foale, Wolf and Mir Commander Anatoly Solovyev will take time out from their activities to discuss their joint flight in interviews with both ABC News and CBS News.
The Atlantis-Mir space complex is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 215 nautical miles with both spacecraft’s systems operating in excellent shape.
The next STS-86 status report will be issued at about 8 p.m. Central time Sunday evening.
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