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Ex-Mir Crew Undergoing More Tests

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<i> Associated Press</i>

The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis resumed exhaustive medical tests on its three newest members Wednesday while watching the space station Mir recede into the blackness of space.

The American shuttle and Russian station parted Tuesday after five historic days flying as a single 223-ton spaceship--the biggest ever to orbit Earth.

Atlantis commander Robert L. (Hoot) Gibson could still see Mir as a ball of light roughly 140 miles behind the shuttle early Wednesday.

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The work pace slowed considerably for most of Atlantis’ crew, but there was more poking and prodding for astronaut Norman E. Thagard and cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennady Strekalov.

The three lived on Mir from mid-March until Atlantis arrived to replace them with two Russian cosmonauts and ferry them home.

Astronaut-physician Ellen Baker and crew mate Bonnie Dunbar are conducting scores of medical tests to see how the stay in space has affected the men.

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