This was the eighteenth Atlantis flight. STS-81 was the fifth of nine planned missions to MIR and the second one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. Astronaut John Blaha, who had been on MIR since September 19,1996 was replaced by astronaut Jerry Linenger. Carried SPACEHAB double module providing additional middeck locker space for secondary experiments. Included several experiments in the fields of advanced technology, Earth sciences, fundamental biology, human life sciences, microgravity and space sciences. Landed at Kennedy Space Center, FL. January 22, 1997. Mission Duration: 10 days 4 hours 55 minutes 32 seconds.
Launch Date: January 12, 1997 4:27 AM EST Launch Vehicle: Atlantis Crew: Commander: Michael A. Baker, Pilot: Brent W. Jett, Mission Specialists: John M. Grunsfeld, Marsha S. Ivins, Jerry M. Linenger, John E. Blaha.