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Space Shuttle Projects

This STS-80 onboard photograph shows the Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer-Shuttle Pallet Satellite II (ORFEUS-SPAS II), photographed during approach by the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia for retrieval. Built by the German Space Agency, DARA, the ORFEUS-SPAS II, a free-flying satellite, was dedicated to astronomical observations at very short wavelengths to: investigate the nature of hot stellar atmospheres, investigate the cooling mechanisms of white dwarf stars, determine the nature of accretion disks around collapsed stars, investigate supernova remnants, and investigate the interstellar medium and potential star-forming regions. Some 422 observations of almost 150 astronomical objects were completed, including the Moon, nearby stars, distant Milky Way stars, stars in other galaxies, active galaxies, and quasar 3C273. The STS-80 mission was launched November 19, 1996.