He is a 1st class Air Force pilot, and a 1st class test pilot. He has participated in the tests of 44 types of aircraft (airplanes and helicopters).
In 1987, Valery Tokarev was selected to join the cosmonaut corps to fly the Buran spacecraft. Since 1994, he has served as commander of a group of cosmonauts of aerospace systems and, since 1997, as a test cosmonaut for the Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
Discovery docked at the PMA-2 end of the International Space Station PMA-2/Unity/PMA-1/Zarya stack. The crew transferred equipment from the Spacehab Logistics Double Module in the payload bay to the interior of the station. Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry made a space walk to transfer equipment from the payload bay to the exterior of the station. The ODS/EAL docking/airlock truss carried two TSA (Tool Stowage Assembly) packets with space walk tools. The Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), built by Energia and DASA-Bremen, carried parts of the Strela crane and the US OTD crane as well as the SHOSS box which contains three bags of tools and equipment to be stored on ISS's exterior.
The STS-96 payload bay manifest:
On May 30 at 02:56 GMT Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry entered the payload bay of Discovery from the tunnel adapter hatch, and made a 7 hr 55 min space walk, transferring equipment to the exterior of the station.
On May 31 at 01:15 GMT the hatch to Unity was opened and the crew began several days of cargo transfers to the station. Battery units and communications equipment were replaced and sound insulation was added to Zarya. Discovery undocked from ISS at 22:39 GMT on June 3 into a 385 x 399 km x 51.6 degree orbit, leaving the station without a crew aboard. On June 5 the Starshine satellite was ejected from the payload bay. The payload bay doors were closed at around 02:15 GMT on June 6 and the deorbit burn was at 04:54 GMT. Discovery landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 06:02 GMT.