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STS089-S-005 (22 Jan. 1998) --- The space shuttle Endeavour cuts a bright swath through the dark sky as it blazes a trail toward the Russian Mir Space Station. Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at 9:48:15 p.m. (EST), Jan. 22, 1998.  STS-89 represents the eighth docking mission with Mir (all previous such flights utilized the Atlantis).  After the docking with Mir, Andrew S. W. Thomas, mission specialist, will transfer to the station, succeeding astronaut David A. Wolf as guest cosmonaut researcher. Wolf will return to Earth aboard Endeavour. Thomas is expected to live and work on Mir until June 1998. Other crew members onboard were Terrence W. Wilcutt, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Reilly, Michael P. Anderson and Salizhan S. Sharipov.  Sharipov represents the Russian Space Agency (RSA). Photo credit: NASA sts089-s-005

STS089-S-005 (22 Jan. 1998) --- The space shuttle Endeavour cuts a bright swath through the dark sky as it blazes a trail toward the Russian Mir Space Station. Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at 9:48:15 p.m. (EST), Jan. 22, 1998. STS-89 represents the eighth docking mission with Mir (all previous such flights utilized the Atlantis). After the docking with Mir, Andrew S. W. Thomas, mission specialist, will transfer to the station, succeeding astronaut David A. Wolf as guest cosmonaut researcher. Wolf will return to Earth aboard Endeavour. Thomas is expected to live and work on Mir until June 1998. Other crew members onboard were Terrence W. Wilcutt, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Reilly, Michael P. Anderson and Salizhan S. Sharipov. Sharipov represents the Russian Space Agency (RSA). Photo credit: NASA sts089-s-005

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STS089-S-005 (22 Jan. 1998) --- The space shuttle Endeavour cuts a bright swath through the dark sky as it blazes a trail toward the Russian Mir Space Station. Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at 9:48:15 p.m. (EST), Jan. 22, 1998. STS-89 represents the eighth docking mission with Mir (all previous such flights utilized the Atlantis). After the docking with Mir, Andrew S. W. Thomas, mission specialist, will transfer to the station, succeeding astronaut David A. Wolf as guest cosmonaut researcher. Wolf will return to Earth aboard Endeavour. Thomas is expected to live and work on Mir until June 1998. Other crew members onboard were Terrence W. Wilcutt, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Reilly, Michael P. Anderson and Salizhan S. Sharipov. Sharipov represents the Russian Space Agency (RSA). Photo credit: NASA

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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22/01/1998
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