Liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis, 2/7/2008

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‘COLUMBUS’ SETS SAIL ON A VOYAGE OF SCIENCE TO THE SPACE STATION AS IT WEIGHS ANCHOR FROM ITS PORT IN FLORIDA. As promised, Pete has photos and videos up front and personal of the liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis, February 7, 2008.

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Pete filmed from the Kennedy Space Center Press Area, next to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The VAB is where all 121 U.S. Space Shuttle missions have been mated to external tanks and solid rocket boosters in preparation for launch. In the pre-shuttle era, all of the Apollo Saturn V moon rockets were built in the VAB.

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A telephoto shot of Atlantis, as it was readied to be launched.

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ATLANTIS’ PAYLOAD was the ‘Columbus’, a portion of the International Space Station built by the European Space Agency, shown here in miniature. Columbus, named after the famous Italian sailor and explorer who discovered the New World, will become a permanent science lab on the ISS.

CLICK THE ARROW BELOW TO BE CONNECTED TO A VIDEO OF THE LIFTOFF OF SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS, AS WITNESSED AND FILMED BY PETE, 2-8-2008…

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