Space: Man, What a Feeling! What a View!

A spectacular launch hurls America 's shuttle, Columbia, into orbit

The morning sun glinted off the towering white trident-shaped stack. Out of the top of the great main fuel tank seeped puffs of steamy vapors, supercold droplets of liquid oxygen. Suddenly, just after dawn on Sunday, the ship's three main engines roared to life. Throttling quickly to 90% of their full 1.1 million lbs. of thrust, the engines caused the spacecraft and fuel tanks to tilt ever so slightly. Seconds later, they snapped back to vertical, and two solid-fuel rockets—fiery space-age Roman candles never...

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