Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
June 3, 1996
Credit: STS-76 Crew, NASA
Explanation: This dream-like image of Mir was recorded by astronauts as the Space Shuttle Atlantis approached the Russian Space Station prior to docking during the STS-76 mission. Sporting spindly appendages and solar pannels, Mir resembles a whimsical flying insect as it orbits above New Zealand's South Island near the Cook Straight. Atlantis shuttled astronaut Shannon W. Lucid to Mir for a 140 day visit, increasing the Mir's occupancy from 2 to 3. It will return to pick Lucid up and drop off astronaut John Blaha during the STS-79 mission presently scheduled for launch on July 31, 1996.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC