STS-87 crew members regard the tiles underneath the orbiter Columbia shortly after its return to Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. Pointing to the tiles is the president of the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan, Isao Uchida, who is standing next to NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin. STS-87 Commander Kevin Kregel, at right, looks on as Pilot Steve Lindsey follows behind him to continue inspecting the orbiter. STS-87 concluded its mission with a main gear touchdown at 7:20:04 a.m. EST Dec. 5, drawing the 15-day, 16-hour and 34-minute-long mission of 6.5 million miles to a close. Also onboard the orbiter were Mission Specialists Winston Scott; Kalpana Chawla, Ph.D.; and Takao Doi, Ph.D., of NASDA; along with Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk of the National Space Agency of Ukraine. During the 88th Space Shuttle mission, the crew performed experiments on the United States Microgravity Payload-4 and pollinated plants as part of the Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment. This was the 12th landing for Columbia at KSC and the 41st KSC landing in the history of the Space Shuttle program. (Photo Release Date: 12/05/97 )
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