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.
September 28, 1996
Explanation: Pictured above is a three person Russian Soyuz capsule with wing-like solar panels extended, joined to the Mir space station. In Russian soyuz means "union" and indeed one of the milestones achieved by a Soyuz spacecraft was an orbital union with a US Apollo command module during the first international space mission (Apollo-Soyuz) in 1975. The Soyuz TM spacecraft are specially modified for use with the Mir as ferries for cosmonauts and astronauts and also as lifeboats, should the need arise. This image is from an electronic still camera used by the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis during their latest Mir visit to pick up astronaut Shannon Lucid and drop off John Blaha.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC