Advertisement

Shuttle Ends Longest Flight

July 08, 1996|Associated Press

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The space shuttle Columbia and its crew glided through an overcast sky Sunday to conclude a 7-million-mile, 17-day journey for medical science, the longest flight for any shuttle.

Within an hour of touchdown, some of the astronauts, who had endured medical poking and prodding in orbit, were in a clinic undergoing painful muscle biopsies and other follow-up tests.

NASA doctors wanted to examine them before their bodies readapted to gravity. Commander Terence "Tom" Henricks and co-pilot Kevin Kregel had an easier post-landing task: taking part in a ceremony to salute runners carrying the Olympic torch through Kennedy Space Center.

The seven crew members, from the U.S., France and Canada, had carried an Olympic torch in orbit--minus the flame, of course--as well as an Olympic banner. The torch was presented to Olympic organizers after the flight.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|