Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

2002 October 20
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

The Space Shuttle Docked with Mir
Credit: Nikolai Budarin, Russian Space Research Institute, NASA

Explanation: Before there was the International Space Station, the reigning orbiting spaceport was Russia's Mir. Pictured above in 1995, the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the segmented Mir. During shuttle mission STS-71, astronauts answered questions from school students over amateur radio and performed science experiments aboard Spacelab. The Spacelab experiments helped to increase understanding of the effects of long-duration space flights on the human body. Last year, after 15 years of successful service, the decaying Mir space station broke up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Tomorrow's picture: Galactic Neighbor

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.