March 22-31, 1996
Atlantis - Mir
Front row, left to right, are astronauts Ronald M. Sega, mission specialist; Kevin R. Chilton, mission commander; and Richard A. Searfoss, pilot. Back row, left to right, are mission specialists Michael R. (Rich) Clifford, Shannon W. Lucid and Linda M. Godwin. STS-76 begins a new period of international cooperation in space exploration with the first Shuttle transport of a United States astronaut (Lucid) to Russias Mir Space Station for extended joint space research. Clifford and Godwin, pictured here in training versions of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), are scheduled to perform the first Extravehicular Activity (EVA) during Mir-Shuttle docked operations.
The STS-76 crew patch depicts the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Russia's Mir Space Station as the space ships prepare for a rendezvous and docking. The "Spirit of 76," an era of new beginnings, is represented by the Space Shuttle rising through the circle of 13 stars in the Betsy Ross flag. STS-76 begins a new period of international cooperation in space exploration with the first Shuttle transport of a United States astronaut, Shannon W. Lucid, to the Mir Space Station for extended joint space research. Frontiers for future exploration are represented by stars and the planets. The three gold trails and the ring of stars in the union form the astronaut logo. Two suited extravehicular activity (EVA) crew members in the outer ring represent the first EVA during Shuttle-Mir docked operations. The EVA objectives are to install science experiments on the Mir exterior and to develop procedures for future EVAs on the International Space Station. The surnames of the crew members encircle the patch: Kevin P. Chilton, mission commander; Richard A. Searfoss, pilot; Ronald M. Sega, Michael R. ( Rich) Clifford, Linda M. Godwin and Lucid, all mission specialists. This patch was designed by Brandon Clifford, age 12, and the crew members of STS-76.
A Personal Story...
..."The space patches are a great tradition. Rich Clifford's son (age 12 at the time, very artistic) did STS-76.
STS-76 plays on a patriotic theme with Atlantis ascending toward Mir out of a 1776 American flag, with exhaust trails and the flags ring of stars reminiscent of the astronaut office logo"...