|The European Space Agency's (ESA) Spacelab module is seen in the payload bay of space shuttle Columbia during the lab's first spaceflight on the STS-9 mission in 1983.|
The unusual payload was Spacelab, a $1 billion European built, NASA-operated space-borne science platform, which would not only set the stage for investigations onboard the space shuttle, but would lay the foundation for major parts of today's International Space Station.
Space shuttle Columbia launched on Nov. 28, 1983, lifting into orbit the Spacelab and six astronauts. Under the lead of commander John Young, the STS-9 crew included pilot Brewster Shaw and mission specialists Owen Garriott and Robert Parker.
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