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CNN Today

CNN 20: Astronaut Shannon Lucid Returns, September 26, 1996

Aired September 26, 2000 - 3:34 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Liftoff of Atlantis on the fourth flight to dock with the Russian space station.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN HOLLIMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The major goal of this mission, to dock with Russia's Mir Space Station and to retrieve the woman dubbed by her astronaut colleagues as the "Queen of the Universe": Shannon Lucid, who's been in space longer than any American or any woman from any country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston, contact and capturing. Atlantis and Mir are shaking hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLLIMAN: After the docking, Lucid literally grabbed her astronaut friends and pulled them aboard the Russian space station. It was an emotional reunion after half a year away from Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON LUCID, ASTRONAUT: The night before they were supposed to launch it was sort of like Christmas Eve when you were a kid, you know what I mean? You're just...

(LAUGHTER)

... have a hard time getting to sleep and you're just wondering just what's going to happen the next day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLLIMAN: The space hab laboratory in the shuttle's cargo bay was central to all the experiments and transferring supplies for astronaut John Blaha, who was replacing Lucid on Mir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BLAHA, ASTRONAUT: When I come back to the shuttle now, to me it looks smaller than I used to think it was. So the volume in the Mir is quite large, and that's the thing that I was impressed with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLLIMAN: Now that Atlantis is safe on the ground, engineers will investigate a series of problems that came up, including the auxiliary power unit that caused mission planners to consider bringing the shuttle home early. The landing seemed to come off without a hitch.

John Holliman, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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