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The shuttle Columbia landing after mission STS-58. The drag chute is deployed to slow the shuttle down.
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Courtesy of NASA

Shuttle Returns Safely
News story originally written on May 7, 1998

The shuttle Columbia just returned after flying in space for 16 days! That's a long time to be away from home!

What would you bring with you if you were going into space? The astronauts on Columbia brought with them fish, snails, rats and crickets. These animals were part of tests that scientist wanted to do to learn more about the nervous system.

The nervous system is part of the body. It includes the brain and the spinal cord. Scientists wanted to find out all they could about the nervous system because it is so important. If the nervous system isn't working, we can get very sick.

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