Space Shuttle Stock Photos – The 66th Space Shuttle flight begins with a nearly ontime liftoff of Space Shuttle Mission STS-66 into clear Florida skies. The orbiter Atlantis returned to space after an approximately two year absence with a liftoff from Launch Pad 39B at 11:59:43 a.m. EST, about four minutes after the launch window opened. The planned 11 day flight will continue NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth, a comprehensive international collaboration to study how Earth’s environment is changing and how human beings affect that change. Primary payloads for the last Shuttle flight of 1994 include the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-3), making its third flight, and the German built Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere Shuttle Pallet Satellite (CRISTA-SPAS), which will be deployed and later retrieved during the mission. Mission commander is Donald R. McMonagle; Curtis L. Brown Jr. is the pilot; Ellen Ochoa is the payload commander, and the three mission specialists are Joseph R. Tanner, Scott E. Parazynski, and Jean-Francois Clervoy, a French citizen who is with the European Space Agency.
Keywords: NASA Photos, Space Shuttle Missions, Kennedy Space Center, KSC, Space photography