Shuttle launch. Space Shuttle Columbia lifting off from the Kennedy Space Centre, USA. During this mission, STS78, the shuttles crew performed various experiments in the Life and Microgravity Spacelab. Lasting from 20 June to the 7 July 1996, it was longer than any previous shuttle flight. The shuttles crew for this mission was Terence Henricks (mission commander), Kevin Kregel (pilot), Susan Helms (payload commander), Richard Linnehan and Charles Brady (mission specialists) and JeanJacques Favier and Robert Thirsk (payload specialists). Favier is from the French Space Agency (CNES) and Thirsk is from the Canadian Space Agency.