Looking like a lighted taper against a cloud-streaked sky, Space Shuttle Atlantis belches a column of smoke as it blasts into space. In the foreground are patches of water and marsh between the Mosquito Lagoon on the north and Banana Creek on the south. In the background is the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect on-time liftoff of Atlantis occurred at 8:45:47 a.m. EDT. On the 11-day mission to the International Space Station, the seven-member crew will perform support tasks on orbit, transfer supplies and prepare the living quarters in the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module. The first long-duration crew, dubbe d is due to arrive at the Station in late fall. Landing of Atlantis is targeted for 4:45 a.m. EDT on Sept. 19. (Photo Release Date: 09/08/2000 )

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