In the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3, during the Crew Equipment Interface Test (CEIT) for mission STS-93, Mission Commander Eileen M. Collins checks out her seat in the orbiter Columbia. Collins is the first woman to serve as a mission commander on a shuttle flight. The CEIT provides an opportunity for crew members to check equipment and facilities that will be aboard the orbiter during their mission. The STS-93 mission will deploy the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), which comprises three major elements: the spacecraft, the telescope, and the science instrument module (SIM). AXAF will allow scientists from around the world to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of a variety of high-energy objects to help understand the structure and evolution of the universe. The other STS-93 crew members are Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby, Mission Specialist Catherine G. Coleman, Mission Specialist Steven A. Hawley and Mission Specialist Michel Tognini of France. Targeted date for the launch of STS-93 is March 18, 1999. (Photo Release Date: 11/13/1998 )
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