To Goldin and to Wolf, Mir seems safe enough; and with the International Space Station already in incubation, the show, as they say, must go on.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.: Space Shuttle Atlantis departs for Mir Thursday night at 10:30, and David Wolf will be on it. NASA chief Daniel Goldin said that although the space agency was "deeply touched" by the public concern with the flight — in particular, the cantankerous complaints of Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner — "the decision to continue our joint participation aboard Mir should not be based on emotion or politics." TIME Washington correspondent Dick Thompson explains: "NASA can't be seen giving in to congressional pressures, especially when international science is involved. It would make us an unreliable space partner."