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Space Shuttle Columbia Launches Succesfully
News story originally written on April 4, 1997

Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off today at 2:20 p.m. EST on a 16-day mission. Launch was delayed for a day due to concerns about a fuel cell that was reading higher than normal voltages. After scientists determined the fuel cell to be working properly, the countdown began.

The shuttle will orbit the Earth for two weeks at a height of 170 miles. The mission consists of a microgravity lab which will study the behavior of metals and other materials in the absence of gravity. The crew will also study how no gravity affects combustion.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA