Atlantis brings astronaut home from Mir
January 22, 1997
Web posted at: 9:50 a.m. EST
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (CNN) -- John Blaha's 128-day stay in
space came to a close Wednesday morning as the space shuttle
Atlantis coasted across Florida to touch down at Kennedy
(1.7MB/32 sec. Shuttle landing- Small frame QuickTime movie)
(3.4MB/32 sec. Shuttle landing- Large frame QuickTime movie)
Overcast skies forced NASA to delay the landing from its scheduled 7:47 a.m. time, but Commander Mike
Baker guided the ship to a picture-perfect landing at 9:22 a.m.
Atlantis left Earth January 12 on its fifth trip to Mir in
the last year and a half. The shuttle spent five days docked
to the station while the two crews transferred nearly four
tons of supplies.
The 54-year-old Blaha joined the two Russians aboard the
space station Mir on
September 16, replacing astronaut Shannon Lucid. He was
replaced last week by Jerry Linenger, who will stay
on Mir until May.
Blaha said he was anxious to see his wife, Brenda, when he
"If they would have brought her up on (Atlantis) and she was
over there now with me on the Mir, I'd be happy to still be
there," he said when the shuttle separated from the station.
Blaha said he was depressed early in his mission, and said he
would have preferred private quarters and the company of a
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