On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Russian Mir space station. Aboard Atlantis in the payload bay were the Orbiter Docking System, the modified Long Tunnel, and the Spacehab Double Module, containing supplies for the Mir. Astronaut John Blaha relieved Shannon Lucid as NASA resident on the complex. Atlantis undocked from the Mir complex on September 23 at 23:33 GMT. Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri and John Blaha remain on Mir. On September 26 Atlantis closed its payload bay doors, and at 11:06 GMT fired its OMS engines for a three minute long deorbit burn. After entry interface at 11:42 GMT the spaceship flew across Canada and the US for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15 at 12:13 GMT.
The replaced RSRM-56 solid rocket boosters separated at 08:57 GMT. MECO (Main Engine Cutoff) came at 09:03 GMT, followed by external tank ET-81 separation with Atlantis in a 82 x 296 km x 51.6 deg orbit. The OMS 2 burn to raise orbit to 157 x 293 km was carried out at 09:37 GMT, and the payload bay doors were opened at 10:15 GMT.
On September 19 Atlantis docked with the Mir complex. The crew reported 'tally ho' (visual contact) at 01:07 GMT, after the terminal burn at 00:33 GMT. By 01:39 they were 3 km apart; twenty minutes later that distance to 300 m. The crew closed in to 10 meters at 03:03 GMT, and carried out station-keeping at that distance for a few minutes, before closing in again for docking at 03:13 GMT. The docking rings retracted and brought the two vehicles together for `hard dock' at 03:20 GMT. At 05:40 the hatch was opened. References: 4 , 7 , 276 .