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Shuttle Confirms Low Ozone Level Over Antarctic

November 08, 1994|From Associated Press

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Atlantis and its crew soared over the edge of the Antarctic ozone hole Monday as shuttle instruments surveyed the gases swirling in the atmosphere below.

Michael Gunson, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said his ozone monitor aboard Atlantis confirms the findings of instruments on permanently orbiting satellites--that there is very little ozone inside the Antarctic ozone hole at nearly all altitudes of the stratosphere.

Ozone protects humans, animals and plants from ultraviolet rays and is being eaten away largely by man-made chemicals.

At one point, the space shuttle flew through the southern lights, the colorful atmospheric streaks caused by the interaction of atoms and charged particles from the sun.

Atlantis also experienced more communication trouble. A radio channel linking the shuttle and Mission Control was unusable. Another radio system provided adequate contact until engineers restored full communications.

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