Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Columbia lifts off on a five-day mission to deploy the Chanda X-Ray Observatory satellite. The first American space mission with a woman in the commander’s seat, this flight also includes some ultraviolet astronomy experiments, and sees the first test of HDTV equipment in space. Aboard Columbia for her 26th mission are Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jeff Ashby, and mission specialists Steven Hawley, Catherine Coleman and Michel Tognini. After landing, Columbia is removed from the orbiter rotation with the intention of permanent retirement, though a demanding launch schedule convinces NASA to upgrade Columbia and return the flagship of the shuttle fleet to service in 2002.