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June 15, 2011
The five astronauts assigned to fly aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia early next year for the STS-93 mission pose with a small model of their primary payload-the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF). From the left are astronauts Eileen M. Collins, mission commander; Steven A. Hawley, mission specialist; Jeffrey S. Ashby, pilot; Michel Tognini and Catherine G. Coleman, both mission specialists. Tognini represents France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The scheduled five-day mission will feature the deployment of AXAF, which will enable scientists to conduct comprehensive studies of exotic phenomena in the universe. Among bodies studied will be exploding stars, quasars and black holes.

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