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Image: (foreground) Coelophysis skeleton; (background) STS-89 launch.When did the shuttle carry a dinosaur skull into space?
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When Endeavour lifted off on shuttle mission STS-89 in January 1998, a Coelophysis skull belonging to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History was on board. The 220-million-year-old, 8-inch-long specimen of North America's oldest dinosaur traveled to the Mir space station and back to Earth with the shuttle's crew as a symbol of the bond between Earth's history and humankind's future.

The crew of Endeavour delivered more than 3,629 kilograms (8,000 pounds) of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water to the Russian space station. Astronaut Andy Thomas joined the Mir crew, and David Wolf returned to Earth aboard the shuttle.

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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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