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John Blaha, the third NASA astronaut in residence on the Russian space station, began his journey to Mir with the launch of STS-79 on the Space Shuttle Atlantis on September 16, 1996.
During his four-month stay, Blaha and his cosmonaut crewmates conducted experiments in the areas of materials science, fluid science, and life science. He returned home January 22, 1997, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis as part of the crew of STS-81.
Blaha was selected as an astronaut in 1980. Prior to his Mir residency, Blaha commanded two shuttle missions and piloted two others. As a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, he flew 361 combat missions in Vietnam; he also served as a test pilot and as an instructor pilot. Blaha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master of Science in astronautical engineering from Purdue University.
For more information on Blaha's stay on Mir, select Shuttle Flights & Mir Increments, Blaha Increment.
NASA Biography: John Blaha
John Blaha Oral History (PDF)
John Blaha Video (13 sec.) MPEG (935K) (No Audio)
U.S. Mir Residents | Astronauts | Cosmonauts | Teams | Oral Histories | Shuttle-Mir Stories
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Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty