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Columbia launches on Hubble repair mission
Posted: Fri, Mar 1, 2002, 8:06 AM ET (1306 GMT)
STS-109 launch (NASA) The space shuttle Columbia launched Friday morning on a mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Columbia lifted off on mission STS-109 at 6:22 am EST (1122 GMT) after a problem-free countdown. Launch was delayed a day because of cold temperatures forecast for Thursday; Friday was significantly warmer, and there were no other weather problems reported. Columbia is scheduled to rendezvous with Hubble early Sunday morning to begin extensive repairs and upgrades of the telescope. Five spacewalks are scheduled to replace instruments, electronics, reaction wheels, and solar panels. Columbia will return to Earth on March 12.
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