U.S. Shuttle Docks With Russia Station

Astronauts guided shuttle Atlantis to the Russian space station Mir and docked early today, neatly executing the risky maneuver 245 miles above Earth.

It was the second linkup of Atlantis and Mir, but was considered more complicated - and dangerous - than the first because of the 15-foot docking tunnel jutting out of the shuttle cargo bay.

A collision could have breached the two pressurized spacecraft and killed all eight men aboard.

Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut aboard Atlantis, called the docking “a ballet of concentrated effort.”

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