KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - From the VIP stands at KSC, members of the Israeli military watch the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107. A member of the Shuttle crew is Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon, who is a colonel in the Israel Air Force. He is the first Israeli astronaut to fly on a Shuttle. The 16-day research mission will include FREESTAR (Fast Reaction Experiments Enabling Science, Technology, Applications and Research) and the SHI Research Double Module (SHI/RDM), known as SPACEHAB. Experiments on the module range from material sciences to life sciences. Ramon will take part in some of the research on the mission. Landing of Columbia is scheduled at about 8:53 a.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 1. This mission is the first Shuttle mission of 2003. Mission STS-107 is the 28th flight of the orbiter Columbia and the 113th flight overall in NASA's Space Shuttle program. (Photo Release Date: 01/16/2003 )

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