Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Columbia lifts off on a nine-day mission with – for the first time in the shuttle program – a crew that’s nearly 50% female. Columbia carries the Spacelab module into orbit for a series of life sciences and biology experiments, the first flight devoted to such experiments since the Skylab era. Aboard Columbia for this flight are Commander Bryan O’Connor, Pilot Sidney Gutierrez, and mission specialists James Bagian, Tamara Jernigan, Rhea Seddon, Drew Gaffney and Millie Hughes-Fulford.