STS-93 Commander Eileen Collins peers into the eastern early morning sky after landing at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) aboard a T-38 jet aircraft (background). She and other crew members Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby and Mission Specialists Steven A. Hawley (Ph.D.), Catherine G. "Cady" Coleman (Ph.D.) and Michel Tognini of France, with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), are arriving for pre-launch activities. Collins is the first woman to serve as mission commander. This is her third Shuttle flight. The primary mission of STS-93 is the release of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which will allow scientists from around the world to study some of the most distant, powerful and dynamic objects in the universe. The new telescope is 20 to 50 times more sensitive than any previous X-ray telescope and is expected to unlock the secrets of supernovae, quasars and black holes. (Photo Release Date: 07/16/1999 )
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