STS-93 Commander Eileen Collins poses in front of the Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia following her textbook landing on runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Main gear touchdown occurred at 11:20:35 p.m. EDT on July 27. On this mission, Collins became the first woman to serve as a Shuttle commander. Also on board were her fellow STS-93 crew members: 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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