Satellite on a string 251

module was deactivated by Lopez-Alegria's Blue Team in the early hours of 5 November.

Right on cue, Bowersox and Rominger fired Columbia's OMS engines at 10:46 am to begin the hour-long descent back to KSC. With double sonic booms echoing across Merritt Island, she touched down at 11:45:22 am, completing a mission of 15 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes and 22 seconds; it was Columbia's longest flight to date and the second-longest in the Shuttle programme. Endeavour's ASTRO-2 mission a few months earlier had already established a new record of more than 16 days, although it would not last for long. In 1996, Columbia would surpass even herself . . .

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