CONTINUATION OF U.S./RUSSIA SPACE COOPERATION HIGHLIGHTS THIRD SHUTTLE MISSION OF 1996
The first spacewalk by U.S. astronauts while the shuttle is attached to the Russian Space Station Mir and the first American woman to serve as a Mir station researcher will highlight NASA's third shuttle mission of 1996.
The flight, designated mission STS-76, is the third of nine planned Space Shuttle-Mir link ups between 1995 and 1998, including rendezvous, docking and crew transfers, which will pave the way toward assembly of the International Space Station beginning in November 1997.
The STS-76 crew is commanded by Kevin P. Chilton, making his third Shuttle flight. The pilot for the mission, Richard A. Searfoss, is making his second flight. There are four mission specialists assigned to the flight. Ronald M. Sega, serving as the Payload Commander and Mission Specialist-1 is making his second flight. Mission Specialist-2 is Richard Clifford who is making his third flight. Linda Godwin, serving as Mission Specialist-3, is also making her third flight. Mission Specialist-4, Shannon Lucid, is flying in space for the fifth time. Lucid will remain aboard the Mir station after Atlantis undocks, becoming the first American woman to serve as a Mir crew member. She will remain aboard the orbiting station until Atlantis again docks to Mir in early August.
a. Gravity affects gene expression on the ground and in spaceflight
b. Cell morphology changes in migrogravity during flight
c. On board 1-gravity controls are important for good science