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Shuttle Columbia Launched July 1st
News story originally written on July 2, 1997
Despite adverse weather conditions, the orbiter Columbia was launched July 1, 1997 at 1:02 CDT. This begins a 16-day mission. The STS-94 is the reflight of the STS-83 mission. The original mission was shortened due to the unsound performance of an electricity-generating fuel cell.
The mission objectives of the STS-94 are centered around the influences of a micro-gravity environment. This mission includes the MSL-1 or Microgravity Science Laboratory-1. Mission specialists will perform research in the areas of material science, biotechnology, and combustion. Some of these experiments have been in preparation for over a decade, and are designed to see how low gravity influences physical processes. The MSL mission will serves as a platform for further long-duration research that will be performed on the International Space Station.
The shuttle Columbia is the oldest orbiter in the shuttle fleet. It has flown 86 million miles! The STS-94 flight of Columbia is commanded by Jim Halsell and piloted by Susan Still.
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