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St. Louisans watch shuttle launch

By Kevin Launch, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The St. Louis Science Center hosted about 100 people Tuesday who'd gathered to watch the first space shuttle launch in more than two years.

The mission marks NASA's renewal of space exploration which officials say will ultimately lead to a return to the moon. Gregg Maryniak is the director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center.

He says NASA is also turning its eye towards collecting space-borne energy that can be used on Earth.

"And we can use the resources in the ocean of space that surrounds us; the energy and materials to literally save the Earth," Maryniak said. "That's a supremely important quest. We can literally make our species un-killable, and as a member of that species, I support that mission."

The shuttle Discovery is commanded by astronaut Eileen Collins, who graduated with a master's degree from Webster University in 1989.

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