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Shuttle Led into Space by a Woman

Early Friday morning, the space shuttle Columbia took off under the command of Eileen Collins — the first woman to control a shuttle.

The shuttle was scheduled for blastoff on Tuesday, but due to a false hydrogen leak, was postponed until Thursday. Thunderstorms yesterday delayed takeoff, but the shuttle launched at 12:30 am on Friday.

Collin’s shuttle contains the world’s most powerful X-ray machine – the $1.5 million Chandra X-ray Observatory. After the shuttle was safely in orbit, Collins radioed in “It’s great to be back in zero-g again.”

Sources:

AP - July 23, 1999