The tranquil beauty of a wildlife refuge serves as a lush backdrop to the drama of a Space Shuttle surging skyward atop a pillar of flame. The Shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at 11:09:00.052 a.m. EDT, Sept. 7, 1995. Only a small portion of the 140,000 acres occupied by the Kennedy Space Center has been developed to support space operations; most of the land is pristine and untouched by man, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife refuge. On board Endeavour are a crew of five and a payload complement that includes two deployable free-flyers, the Wake Shield Facility-2 and the Spartan-201. David M. Walker is the mission commander; Kenneth D. Cockrell is the pilot; James S. Voss is the payload commander; and the two mission specialists are Michael L. Gernhardt and James H. Newman. The 11-day flight also is scheduled to include an extravehicular activity by Gernhardt and Newman. (Photo Release Date: 09/07/95 )
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