After a night launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Shuttle docked with Mir at 03:55 GMT on January 14. STS-81 transferred 2,715 kg of equipment to and from the Mir, the largest transfer of items to that date. During the docked phase, 640 kg of water, 515 kg of U.S. science equipment, 1,000 kg of Russian logistics, and 120 kg of miscellaneous material were transferred to Mir. Returned to Earth aboard Atlantis were 570 kg of U.S. science material, 405 kg of Russian logistics and 98 kg of miscellaneous material. At 02:16 GMT January 19, Atlantis separated from Mir after picking up John Blaha, who had arrived aboard STS-79 on September 19, 1996, and dropping off Jerry Linenger, who was to stay aboard Mir for over four months. The Shuttle backed off along the -RBAR (i.e. toward the Earth) to a distance of 140 m before beginning a flyaround at 02:31 GMT. Most of the flyaround was at a distance from Mir of 170 m. The first 'orbit' around Mir was complete at 03:15, and the second was completed at 04:02 GMT. Then the Orbiter fired its jets to drift away from the orbit of Mir. NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 came to a close with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center at 14:22 GMT on January 22 (after the first opportunity was waved off due to cloud cover at the Cape).
Cargo Bay Payloads: SPACEHAB-Double Module; Orbiter Docking System. In-Cabin Payloads: VIS; Biorack; KidSat; CREAM; Orbiter Space Vision System; MSX.
Developmental Test Objectives Detailed Supplementary Objectives Risk Mitigation Experiments
Payload And Vehicle Masses: Orbiter (Atlantis) empty and 3 SSME’s 81,975 kg; Shuttle System at SRB Ignition 2,046,619 kg; Orbiter Weight at Landing with Cargo 113,375 kg; Spacehab-Double Module 4,774 kg; Orbiter Docking System 1,821 kg. References: 4 , 7 , 276 .