The Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia swoops out of the darkness onto runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility after a successful mission of nearly five days and 1.8 million miles. Main gear touchdown was at 11:20:35 p.m. EDT on July 27. Aboard are the STS-93 crew members: Commander Eileen M. Collins, Pilot Jeffrey S. Ashby, and Mission Specialists Stephen A. Hawley (Ph.D.), Catherine G. Coleman (Ph.D.) and Michel Tognini of France, with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The mission's primary objective was to deploy the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which will allow scientists from around the world to study some of the most distant, powerful and dynamic objects in the universe. This was the 95th flight in the Space Shuttle program and the 26th for Columbia. The landing was the 19th consecutive Shuttle landing in Florida and the 12th night landing in Shuttle program history. (Photo Release Date: 07/27/1999 )
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