Columbia touches down
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Courtesy of NASA
Excellent Landing Doesn't Do Away with Disappointment
News story originally written on December 5, 1997
Columbia finished its 16-day mission early this morning. Touchdown was at 6:20 a.m. CDT. The landing was an excellent one.
On the mission, astronauts did microgravity research and tested tools and techniques that will be used for the building of the International Space Station. Despite a good landing and successful research, one thing keeps the astronauts from being happy.
During the mission, the SPARTAN satellite was deployed, but it malfunctioned within minutes of being released. The rest of the mission was focussed on retrieving the satellite. While scientists are happy to have their satellite back, it was unable to make a single observation of the Sun. Disappointment can be seen in the faces of crew STS-87.
The astronauts are scheduled to reunite with their families tonight in Houston, Texas.
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