On this day in 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station MIR to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
This historic moment of cooperation between former rival space programs was also the 100th human space mission in American history.
At the time, Daniel Goldin, chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), called it the beginning of “a new era of friendship and cooperation” between the U.S. and Russia.
With millions of viewers watching on television, Atlantis blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida on June 27, 1995.
Just after 6 a.m. on June 29, Atlantis and its seven crew members approached MIR as both crafts orbited the Earth some 245 miles above Central Asia, near the Russian-Mongolian border.