Space Shuttle Takes Off; 19/43 News Talks To Astronaut

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - The space shuttle Columbia blasted off on Friday morning with two former Ohio residents on board.

Troy High School graduate Nancy Currie and former Ohio State

veterinary student Richard Linnehan are among the seven-member crew
on a mission to renovate the Hubble telescope.

Their launch

was
delayed by a day to wait for warmer
weather at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
The delay gave time for representatives from the U.S. Mint to send down four new Ohio quarters, which are now packed inside Currie's backpack.

Shortly before takeoff

,
Mission Control wished the
crew well, saying their mission would provide "a better glimpse of
the future."

NASA sa

id that
the shuttle should reach Hubble early Sunday morning.

When they get to outer space, the astronauts will join South Euclid native Carl Walz, who has been in orbit since last December. 19/43 News' Lynna Lai talked to Walz (pictured, above) via satellite, and surprised him with a special hello (video link, under picture).

The

new
astronauts will conduct a record-tying five spacewalks next
week to install all the equipment on the 12-year-old telescope.

The launch was surrounded by highly tight security to guard

against a possible terrorist attack.

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