March 12, 2012 by staff 

NASA STS-63, STS-63 was the second mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried out the first rendezvous of the American Space Shuttle with Russia’s space station Mir.

Known as the ‘Near-Mir’ mission, the flight used Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from launch pad 39B on 3 February 1995 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

A night launch and the 20th mission for Discovery, it marked the first time a Space Shuttle mission had a female pilot, Eileen Collins, and carried out the successful deployment and retrieval of the Spartan-204 platform, along with the scheduled rendezvous and flyaround of Mir, in preparation for STS-71, the first mission to dock with Mir.

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