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STS-31: Opening window to the Universe
The Hubble Space Telescope has become astronomy's crown jewel for knowledge and discovery. The great observatory was placed high above Earth following its launch aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. The astronauts of STS-31 recount their mission in this post-flight film presentation.

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STS-34: Galileo launch
The long voyage of exploration to Jupiter and its many moons by the Galileo spacecraft began on October 18, 1989 with launch from Kennedy Space Center aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. The crew of mission STS-34 tell the story of their flight to dispatch the probe -- fitted with an Inertial Upper Stage rocket motor -- during this post-flight presentation film.

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Russia launches spy satellite

Posted: September 14, 2006

A secretive new satellite for the Russian defense ministry is now in orbit after successfully vaulting into space on Thursday aboard a Soyuz rocket.

Liftoff of the Soyuz rocket was at 1341 GMT (9:41 a.m. EDT) from pad 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan. It took about eight minutes for the launcher to deliver the payload into orbit, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

The satellite was named Kosmos 2423 in the Russian defense ministry’s nomenclature for military spacecraft. However, experts believe the craft is a member of the Don family of photo reconnaissance satellites that can return film to Earth for recovery in small capsules.

The launch was the 7th of the year for the venerable Soyuz rocket family and the 39th space shot to successfully reach orbit so far in 2006.