STS-93 Commander Eileen M. Collins (with microphone) talks to the press at a question and answer session at the slidewire basket area of Launch Pad 39B. She is joined by other crew members (from left) Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby and Mission Specialists Catherine G. Coleman (Ph.D.), Steven A. Hawley (Ph.D.) and Michel Tognini of France, who represents the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The crew has been taking part in a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which familiarizes them with the mission, provides training in emergency exit from the orbiter and launch pad, and includes a launch-day dress rehearsal culminating with a simulated main engine cut-off. The primary mission of STS-93 is the release of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which will allow scientists from around the world to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of exotic environments in space to help understand the structure and evolution of the universe. The targeted launch date for STS-93 is no earlier than July 20 at 12:36 a.m. EDT from Launch Pad 39B. (Photo Release Date: 06/23/1999 )
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