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July 18, 2011
The Space Shuttle Columbia begins its 27th flight in the pre-dawn hours from Launch Pad 39A. Liftoff for STS-109 occurred at 6:22:02:08 a.m., EST (11:22:02:08 GMT). The goal of the mission is the maintenance and upgrade of the Hubble Space Telescope, to be carried out in five space walks. On board the spacecraft were astronauts Scott D. Altman, Duane G. Carey, Nancy J. Currie, John M. Grunsfeld, James H. Newman, Richard M. Linnehan and Michael J. Massimino.

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