The Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off from Launch Pad 39B at 2:19 p.m. EDT Apr. 17 to begin the nearly 17-day STS-90 Neurolab mission. A torrent of water is seen flowing onto the mobile launcher platform as several large quench nozzles, or "rainbirds," mounted on platform's surface operate as a sound suppression system. The crew members are Commander Richard Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialists Richard Linnehan, D.V.M., Dafydd (Dave) Williams, M.D., with the Canadian Space Agency, and Kathryn (Kay) Hire; and Payload Specialists Jay Buckey, M.D., and James Pawelczyk, Ph.D. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. (Photo Release Date: 04/17/98 )
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