The orbiter drag chute deploys after the Space Shuttle orbiter Atlantis lands on runway 15 of the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at the conclusion of the nearly 11-day STS-86 mission. Main gear touchdown was at 5:55:09 p.m. EDT, October 6, 1997, with an unofficial mission-elapsed time of 10 days, 19 hours, 20 minutes and 50 seconds. The first two Kennedy Space Center landing opportunities on Sunday were waved off because of weather concerns. The 87th Space Shuttle mission was the 40th landing of the Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center. On Sunday evening, the Space Shuttle program reached a milestone: The total flight time of the Shuttle passed the two-year mark. STS-86 was the seventh of nine planned dockings of the Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir. STS-86 Mission Specialist David A. Wolf replaced NASA astronaut and Mir crew member C. Michael Foale, who has been on Mir since mid-May. Foale returned to Earth on Atlantis with the remainder of the STS-86 crew. The other crew members are Commander James D. Wetherbee, Pilot Michael J. Bloomfield, and Mission Specialists Wendy B. Lawrence, Scott E. Parazynski, Vladimir Georgievich Titov of the Russian Space Agency, and Jean-Loup J.M. Chretien of the French Space Agency, CNES. Wolf is scheduled to remain on the Mir until the STS-89 Shuttle mission in January. Besides the docking and crew exchange, STS-86 included the transfer of more than 3.5 tons of science/logistical equipment and supplies betweent the two orbiting spacecraft. Parazynski and Titov also conducted a spacewalk while Atlantis and the Mir were docked.
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Image # : 97PC-1492