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Shuttle Columbia Launches on Science Mission

The seven member crew of STS 107 successfully launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia at 10:39 a.m. EST on Jan. 16 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first shuttle mission of the year carries the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon. Columbia, the oldest orbiter in the Shuttle fleet, will carry four tons of science to orbit...literally! STS 107 is the first strictly science research mission since STS-99, with 80-plus experiments. The astronauts will conduct round the clock science in 12 hour shifts throughout the 16-day mission, due to return to Earth on Feb. 1.

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