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Video Coverage




The most complete source of video from the countdown, launch and mission of space shuttle Discovery is available here!

Video Collection



The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-121
Launch: July 4, 2006
Time: 2:38 p.m. EDT (1838 GMT)
Site: Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: July 17 @ 9:14 a.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
Video collection

Mission Status Center

Landing Day Timeline

Master Flight Plan

NASA TV Schedule

Countdown Timeline

Launch Timeline

Shuttle/ISS Calendar

STS-121 Quick-Look

Launch Windows Chart

Ascent Data Packet

Timeline Walkthrough

Rendezvous Burns

Undocking Timeline

Key Personnel List

STS-121 Mission Index

STS-114 Archive



The Crew




Veteran shuttle commander Steven Lindsey leads a seven-person crew launching aboard Discovery for the STS-121 mission.

Crew Quick-Look

CDR: Steven Lindsey

PLT: Mark Kelly

MS 1: Michael Fossum

MS 2: Lisa M. Nowak

MS 3: Stephanie Wilson

MS 4: Piers Sellers

MS 5: Thomas Reiter

Manned Spaceflights

Current Demographics

Spacewalk Statistics



The Vehicle




As America's third reusable space shuttle to fly, Discovery has successfully completed 31 missions since 1984.

STS-121 Hardware

Launch/Landing Chart

Shuttle Flight History




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Discovery goes to pad
As night fell over Kennedy Space Center on May 19, space shuttle Discovery reached launch pad 39B to complete the slow journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building. Discovery will be traveling much faster in a few weeks when it blasts off to the International Space Station.

 Full coverage

Discovery moves to VAB
Perched atop a trailer-like transporter, space shuttle Discovery was moved May 12 from its hangar to the 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building for mating to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-121 mission.

 Full coverage

Tank meets SRBs
Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, the external fuel tank for the STS-121 space shuttle mission is hoisted into position for attachment with the twin solid rocket boosters atop a mobile launch platform. The tank, ET-119, will carry the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to feed Discovery's three main engines during launch.

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Discovery payload bay
In preparation for space shuttle Discovery's departure from its Orbiter Processing Facility hangar for rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building and mating with the tank and boosters, the ship's 60-foot long payload bay doors are swung shut.

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STS-4: Last test flight
The developmental test flights of the space shuttle concluded with Columbia's STS-4 mission. Commander Ken Mattingly and pilot Henry Hartsfield spent a week in space examining orbiter systems and running science experiments. The 1982 flight ended on the Fourth of July with President Reagan at the landing site to witness Columbia's return and the new orbiter Challenger leaving for Kennedy Space Center. Watch this STS-4 post-flight crew presentation film.

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STS-3: Unique landing
Columbia's STS-3 mission is best remembered in the history books for its conclusion -- the first and so far only landing at the picturesque Northrup Strip at White Sands, New Mexico. In this post-flight presentation film, the crew describes the highlights of the March 1982 mission and shows some of the fun they had in orbit. The commander also tells how he accidentally "popped a wheelie" before bringing the nose gear down to the runway surface.

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STS-2: First reusable spaceship
Seven months after the successful maiden voyage of space shuttle Columbia, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly took the orbiter back into space on mission STS-2. The November 12, 1981 launch demonstrated that the space shuttle was the world's first reusable manned spacecraft. Although their mission would be cut short, Engle and Truly performed the first tests of the shuttle's Canadian-made robotic arm. The crew tells the story of the mission in this post-flight presentation.

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STS-1: America's first space shuttle mission
The space shuttle era was born on April 12, 1981 when astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen rode Columbia into Earth orbit from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. The two-day flight proved the shuttle could get into space as a rocket and return safely with a runway landing. Following the voyage of STS-1, the two astronauts narrated this film of the mission highlights and told some of their personal thoughts on the flight.

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STS-95: John Glenn's return to space
The flight of shuttle Discovery in October 1998 captured the public's attention with the triumphant return to space by John Glenn. The legendary astronaut became the first American to orbit the Earth some 36 years earlier. His 9-day shuttle mission focused on science experiments about aging. This post-flight presentation of highlights from the STS-95 mission is narrated by the astronauts.

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STS-71: First Mir docking
Space shuttle Atlantis and a multinational crew flew to the Russian space station Mir in June 1995 for the first in a series of joint docking missions, launching a new era of cooperation in space between the United States and Russia that would pave the way for the International Space Station. This post-flight presentation of highlights from the historic STS-71 mission is narrated by the astronauts.

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STS-121 Mission Archive

Discovery is home
Under an overcast sky, the shuttle Discovery glided to a smooth touchdown on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, closing out a successful space station repair and resupply mission that appears to clear the way for resumption of station assembly.
   FULL STORY - updated
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   PREVIEW STORY
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN
   UPDATED TV SCHEDULE
   LANDING DAY TIMELINE
   LANDING MAPS: ORBIT 202 | ORBIT 203
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VIDEO: DISCOVERY LANDS AT THE CAPE PLAY
VIDEO: VIEW FROM RUNWAY MID-POINT PLAY
VIDEO: INFRARED TRACKING CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE LANDING FACILTY TOWER 2 PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE LANDING FACILTY TOWER 1 PLAY
VIDEO: CAMERA ON NORTH END OF RUNWAY PLAY
VIDEO: CAMERA ON SOUTH END OF RUNWAY PLAY
VIDEO: VIEW FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER SIGNS OFF BEFORE LEAVING SHUTTLE PLAY

VIDEO: PRE-LANDING NEWS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: SUNDAY TV INTERVIEWS CNN | CBS | FOX | ABC | NBC


VIDEO: BEAUTIFUL DEPARTING VIEWS OF THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY UNDOCKS FROM THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND ISS CREW FAREWELL CEREMONY PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S UNDOCKING FROM STATION EXPLAINED PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON APU LEAK DIAL-UP | BROADBAND PART 1 & PART 2

VIDEO: DAY 11 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: LATE INSPECTIONS OF DISCOVERY'S PORT-SIDE WING PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO MODULE RETURNED TO DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: CARGO MODULE PREPPED FOR REMOVAL FROM ISS PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS LATE INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS LEONARDO BERTHING PLAY
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Discovery's heat shield officially cleared for entry
NASA managers reviewing laser scans of Discovery's nose cap and wing leading edge panels have found no signs of any micrometeoroid impacts and have officially cleared the shuttle for re-entry Monday, weather permitting, to close out a space station repair and resupply mission.
   FULL STORY
APU 1 runs normally during control system checkout
A hydraulic power unit with a leak in its fuel system was fired up early Sunday as part of an otherwise routine flight control system checkout aboard the shuttle Discovery. A quick look at telemetry from APU 1 indicated normal operation and no obvious problems, but it will take several hours to make sure the leak rate stayed constant as engineers predicted.
   FULL STORY
Late inspections of Discovery completed
A quick-look assessment of post-undocking laser scans of the shuttle Discovery's nose cap and wing leading edges shows no obvious impact damage from space debris or micrometeoroids. Final clearance to proceed with landing Monday at the Kennedy Space Center will not be given until Sunday, however, after a detailed assessment is completed.
   FULL STORY
Discovery departs station with sights set on landing
The shuttle Discovery undocked from the international space station early Saturday, leaving European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter behind to boost the crew size to three for the first time since downsizing in the wake of the Columbia accident.
   FULL STORY
   UNDOCKING TIMELINE
NASA, Russians mull launch dates for Atlantis, Soyuz
NASA and the Russian space agency are discussing launch options that almost certainly will shorten the launch window for the agency's next shuttle flight. It now is expected to open Aug. 27 or 28 and may close a week or so earlier than planned because of a requirement to provide time for the station crew to sleep shift between the departure of a U.S. space shuttle and the arrival of a Russian Soyuz capsule.
   FULL STORY
Shuttle boss optimistic about hydraulics issue
Astronauts Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson, dubbed the "robo chicks" by mission control, used the space station's robot arm to detach a 10-ton cargo module from the lab complex and remount it in Discovery's cargo bay for return to Earth. Engineers, meanwhile, continue assessing the health of the shuttle's hydraulic system but shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said he is optimistic the issue will not have a major impact on Discovery's re-entry and landing Monday.
   FULL STORY
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Crew says NASA has turned the corner after Columbia
The Discovery astronauts closed up the Leonardo logistics module today and geared up to detach it from the space station and re-install in the shuttle's cargo bay for return to Earth. With undocking from the station on tap Saturday, shuttle pilot Mark Kelly said the crew has accomplished virtually all of the mission's objectives, clearing the way for station assembly to resume this fall.
   FULL STORY
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VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS LEONARDO BERTHING PLAY
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Mission managers update crew on shuttle APU issues
The Discovery astronauts took the day off Thursday, relaxing and enjoying the view from space after a hectic week in orbit highlighted by three spacewalks and work to transfer supplies and equipment to the international space station. Engineers, meanwhile, continue analysis of two seemingly minor issues with Discovery's hydraulic system.
   FULL STORY
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN
   UPDATED TV SCHEDULE
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VIDEO: MSNBC INTERVIEW WITH FOSSUM AND NOWAK PLAY
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VIDEO: ISS CREW EVENT WITH COLUMBUS CONTROL CENTRE PLAY
VIDEO: RUSSIAN NEWS CONFERENCE WITH ISS CREW PLAY
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Spacewalkers test shuttle heat shield repair materials
The Discovery astronauts chalked up a third successful spacewalk Wednesday, demonstrating repair techniques that could help a future shuttle crew fix damage to a ship's wing leading edge panels. Just before bidding the astronauts good night, mission control informed commander Steve Lindsey that engineers were monitoring two potential issues with the shuttle's hydraulic system.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
   PREVIEW STORY
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VIDEO: DAY 9 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR EVA 3 PLAY
VIDEO: HELMET-CAM FOOTAGE DURING THE HEAT SHIELD REPAIR PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS TRAVEL TO REPAIR TEST SITE PLAY
VIDEO: PIERS SELLERS TESTS INFRARED INSPECTION CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: SELLERS HITCHES RIDE ON SPACE STATION ARM PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 PLAY
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'We're back, baby'
The Discovery astronauts, working through a relatively relaxed day of space station equipment and supply transfers Tuesday, said the shuttle's trouble-free launch and lack of significant impact damage show NASA is finally ready to put the Columbia tragedy behind it.
   FULL STORY
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NASA managers thrilled with results of spacewalk
Space station flight director Rick LaBrode sweated bullets going into Monday's spacewalk to fix a stalled robot arm transporter on the international lab complex. But months of planning, tests and simulations paid off with a successful repair job, clearing the way for resumption of station assembly.
   FULL STORY
   PREVIEW STORY
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VIDEO: DAY 7 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR EVA 2 PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS BOLT THE NEW REEL TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: INSTALLATION OF NEW REEL NOT EASY PLAY
VIDEO: FOSSUM CARRIES REPLACEMENT REEL TOWARD ISS PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS BRING FAILED REEL TO THE SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: FAILED RAILCAR CABLE REEL REMOVED FROM ISS PLAY
VIDEO: SELLERS REPLACES FAILED CABLE CUTTER DEVICE PLAY
VIDEO: STATION ARM HOISTS PUMP MODULE FROM SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PREP PUMP MODULE FOR TRANSFER PLAY
VIDEO: CREW GOES THROUGH ACTIVITIES TO BEGIN EVA PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: SRB CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SPLASHDOWN PLAY
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Discovery officially cleared of any launch damage
After around-the-clock analysis, NASA managers Sunday officially gave the shuttle Discovery's heat shield a clean bill of health, concluding there are no problems with tiles, the ship's nose cap or wing leading edge panels that require any repair work by the astronauts.
   FULL STORY
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN
   UPDATED TV SCHEDULE
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VIDEO: SRB CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SPLASHDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: JOINT CREW NEWS CONFERENCE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: DAY 6 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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Astronauts enjoy slightly more relaxed day
The Discovery astronauts are enjoying a slightly more relaxed day in space today, settling in for relatively routine supply transfers from the shuttle to the international space station and gearing up for a critical spacewalk Monday.
   FULL STORY
NASA resolves worries about wing panels, nose cap
With the Discovery astronauts chalking up a surprisingly successful spacewalk, NASA's Mission Management Team Saturday cleared the shuttle's critical nose cap and wing leading edge panels for re-entry and expressed optimism two final question marks about the ship's heat shield will be resolved Sunday.
   FULL STORY
Spacewalkers test boom as shuttle repair platform
Astronaut Mike Fossum, anchored to the end of a 100-foot space crane positioned at one end of the space station's solar array truss, pretended to make heat shield repairs Saturday, measuring the forces imparted to the untried space crane to judge its stability as a repair platform.
   FULL STORY
   EVA MID-POINT STORY
   EVA BEGINS
   PREVIEW STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
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VIDEO: DAY 5 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: SPACEWALK NO. 1 CONCLUDES PLAY
VIDEO: FOSSUM PRACTICES REPAIR ACTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: BOTH SPACEWALKERS GET ON THE BOOM PLAY
VIDEO: SELLERS CONDUCTS STABILITY TESTS PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS GATHER TOOLS FOR TESTS PLAY
VIDEO: SELLERS AND FOSSUM BEGIN EVA 1 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAY
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Shuttle not yet cleared as analysis continues
Engineers are still assessing the health of two leading edge panels on Discovery's right wing, along with a protruding gap filler just in front of a propellant feedline access door on the orbiter's belly. Mission Management Team Chairman John Shannon said Friday it might take another day or two before engineers can either give Discovery a clean bill of health or show the "regions of interest" represent potentially serious problems.
   FULL STORY
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VIDEO: DAY 4 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM MOUNTS CARGO MODULE TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO CARGO MODULE LIFTED OUT OF PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS MODULE INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: OVERVIEW OF CARGO CARRIED IN LEONARDO PLAY
VIDEO: LIVE RADIO INTERVIEWS WITH CREW CBS | FOX | ABC | NPR
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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Discovery mission extended
With a one-day mission extension considered a done deal, the Discovery astronauts are using a high-resolution camera to inspect a half-dozen areas of the shuttle's heat shield for signs of damage during launch Tuesday. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center, meanwhile, are starting to think about whether the astronauts might need to remove one or two protruding gap fillers during a third spacewalk expected to be added to the mission now that engineers know Discovery will have enough power to support the extra day in orbit.
   FULL STORY
Gap filler 101: Crew to make focused inspections
Pilot Mark Kelly, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson are gearing up carry out so-called focused inspections of Discovery's heat shield to double check several areas of interest that were noticed during earlier inspections.
   FULL STORY
Cargo transfer module mounted to the station
Astronauts aboard the international space station, operating the lab's Canadian-built robot arm, gently plucked a 10-ton cargo module from the shuttle Discovery's payload bay today for attachment to the international space station.
   FULL STORY
No damage found during heat shield inspections
Preliminary assessment of the shuttle Discovery's heat shield after a dramatic end-over-end flip Thursday while approaching the international space station shows no signs of appreciable damage to the ship's fragile heat shield tiles from debris impacts during launch, officials said.
   FULL STORY
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Discovery arrives at space station after two day chase
With commander Steve Lindsey at the controls, the shuttle Discovery glided to a smooth, picture-perfect docking with the international space station Thursday. During final approach, Lindsey flew the shuttle through a spectacular 360-degree pitch-around maneuver as the spaceplane sailed above the Rock of Gibraltar and then central Europe at five miles per second.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN
   RENDEZVOUS DAY TIMELINE
   UPDATED TV SCHEDULE
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VIDEO: POST-DOCKING MISSION STATUS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL FOR DOCKING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW FLOATS INTO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DOCKING AS SEEN THROUGH CENTERLINE CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: WATCH THE ENTIRE PIROUETTE BACKFLIP MANEUVER PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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Crew told about debris, gap filler as they near station
The shuttle Discovery was closing in on the international space station Thursday for a long-awaited linkup that will boost the lab's crew size to three, provide more than 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies and give mission managers their first detailed view of the fragile heat shield tiles on the shuttle's belly.
   FULL STORY
Space shuttle external tank fixes appear sound
After a full day of image analysis and inspections, NASA engineers are increasingly optimistic that major changes to the foam insulation on the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank worked as required to minimize the release of potentially catastrophic debris during the ship's Fourth of July climb to space.
   FULL STORY
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VIDEO: INITIAL TANK ASSESSMENT DIAL-UP | BROADBAND

VIDEO: THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: RIDE ALONG DURING LAUNCH VIA CREW MODULE CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: AMAZING FOOTAGE FROM WB-57 HIGH-ALTITUDE AIRCRAFT PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE LANDING FACILITY TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: BEACH MOUND TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: PATRICK AFB TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: UCS 23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: UCS 11 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: CS 6 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: CS 2 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: CS 1 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: COMPLEX 39 PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD SIDE VIEW PLAY
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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Astronauts inspect Discovery wings, nose cap
The Discovery astronauts carried out painstaking, inch-by-inch inspections of the shuttle's carbon composite nose cap and wing leading edge panels Wednesday, using a laser sensor on the end of a long boom to look for signs of ascent impact damage. White markings thought to be bird droppings were spotted at one point, and a few other whitish streaks were visible, but no obvious signs of significant damage were seen in downlinked TV.
   FULL STORY
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VIDEO: DAY 2 MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS INSPECTIONS WITH BOOM PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS ROBOT ARM INSPECTIONS PLAY
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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External fuel tank foam losses not in danger zone
The shuttle Discovery's external tank lost only small pieces of foam insulation during launch Tuesday, and those were well after the period when aerodynamic effects can lead to dangerous impacts with the orbiter, officials said late Tuesday.
   FULL STORY
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Star-Spangled start to shuttle Discovery's mission
The space shuttle Discovery and its flag-waving crew thundered into space Tuesday, putting on a spectacular Fourth of July skyshow as it rocketed away on a long-awaited mission to repair and resupply the international space station.
   FULL STORY
   ASTRONAUT SPOTS DEBRIS IN SPACE
   MISSION QUICK-LOOK: Page 1 | Page 2
   VIDEO PODCAST: Subscribe on iTunes
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VIDEO: LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY! PLAY
VIDEO: ONBOARD VIEW OF DEBRIS SHEDDING EVENT PLAY
VIDEO: TANK CAMERA VIEW OF ORBITER SEPARATION PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 171 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 170 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 163 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 161 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 160 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 154 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 151 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 150 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 149 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 109 PLAY

VIDEO: PILOT MARK KELLY GETS STRAPPED INTO HIS SEAT PLAY
VIDEO: GERMAN ASTRONAUT THOMAS REITER BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER STEVE LINDSEY BOARDS DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTROVAN ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39B PLAY
VIDEO: FLAG-WAVING CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR THE PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS GET SUITED UP THIS MORNING PLAY
VIDEO: SNACK TIME NO. 3 FOR DISCOVERY CREW PLAY
VIDEO: ICE TEAM INSPECTS TANK BRACKET AFTER FUELING PLAY
MORE: STS-121 VIDEO COVERAGE
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Discovery tank cleared
NASA managers Monday night decided to press ahead with a Fourth of July launch of the shuttle Discovery, weather permitting, after engineers concluded the loss of foam insulation from an external oxygen feedline posed no threat to the orbiter or its crew.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 3]
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Discovery launch delayed to Independence Day
For a second straight day, the shuttle Discovery was grounded because of cloud cover over the Kennedy Space Center Sunday, delaying a long-awaited mission to service and resupply the international space station. Launch was rescheduled for around 2:38 p.m. EDT (1838 GMT) on the July Fourth holiday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 2]
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VIDEO: ASTROVAN LEAVES PAD 39B AFTER THE SCRUB PLAY
VIDEO: WEATHER SCRUBS LAUNCH FOR SECOND STRAIGHT DAY PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPART THEIR QUARTERS FOR THE PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS AGAIN PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY MORNING'S ASTRONAUT SNACK TIME PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: THE PAYLOADS OF STS-121 PLAY
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Bad weather delays shuttle Discovery launch
Launch of the shuttle Discovery on a long-awaited space station servicing and resupply mission was called off Saturday because of cloud cover and the threat of lightning over the Kennedy Space Center.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 1]
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VIDEO: POST-SCRUB INTERVIEW WITH LAUNCH DIRECTOR PLAY
VIDEO: WEATHER SCRUBS SATURDAY'S LAUNCH ATTEMPT PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR THE PAD PLAY
VIDEO: CREWMEMBERS DON ORANGE SPACESUITS PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUT PHOTO OPP TODAY IN DINING ROOM PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER STEVE LINDSEY PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT MARK KELLY PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MISSION SPECIALIST 1 MIKE FOSSUM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS 2 LISA NOWAK PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS 3 STEPHANIE WILSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS 4 PIERS SELLERS PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS 5 THOMAS REITER PLAY
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Griffin again defends decision on eve of liftoff
NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, answering questions on the eve of shuttle Discovery's launch Saturday, said today he firmly believes his decision to approve launch over objections from NASA's top safety manager and chief engineer was correct and based strictly on the technical merits of the argument.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 30]
Discovery on track for launch as options outlined
The shuttle Discovery's countdown is on track today for a launch attempt Saturday at 3:49 p.m., weather permitting. Forecasters continue to predict a 60 percent chance of unacceptable weather Saturday, Sunday and Monday due to electrically charged anvil clouds within 23 miles of the launch area and a possibility of showers.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 30]
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - updates
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Space shuttle preview:
Indepth look at test flight
After a frustrating year of redesign, testing and controversy, NASA is finally ready to launch the shuttle Discovery July 1 on a space station servicing and repair mission. It will be the first flight in shuttle history with a system - foam bracket insulators on the external fuel tank - officially deemed an unacceptable risk by the agency's top safety manager and chief engineer. This is our 14,000-word preview of Discovery's mission.
   FULL REPORT [Posted: June 29]
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VIDEO: SHUTTLE MISSION PREVIEW DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: STATION ACTIVITIES ON STS-121 DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF DISCOVERY'S SPACEWALKS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS MEET THE PRESS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND ISS PROGRAM PERSPECTIVE
      DIAL-UP: part 1 and part 2
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Mission management team 'go' for Saturday launch
"I'm very happy to report that we just had our launch-minus two-day mission management team review and other than some questionable weather, we have no constraints to launch," said John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team. "It's been a long year, with a lot of hard work by all of the team members to get to this point and I just want to say I'm extremely proud of the team and we are ready to go for Saturday and do what NASA does best."
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 29]
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Weather outlook iffy for weekend shuttle launch
The shuttle Discovery is in good shape and on track for launch Saturday, but forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance of electrically charged anvil clouds and afternoon showers Saturday, Sunday and Monday that would prevent takeoff.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 28]
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Discovery astronauts arrive at the Cape for launch
The seven space shuttle Discovery astronauts flew to Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday from their training base in Houston in preparation for Saturday's planned liftoff. The launch countdown remains set to begin ticking at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 27]
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Officials tell reporters about 'no-go' shuttle launch votes
NASA's top safety official and the agency's chief engineer said Wednesday they opposed the shuttle Discovery's launch July 1 because of concern about so-called ice-frost ramps on the ship's external tank that could shed foam and cause catastrophic impact damage. In fact, Discovery's flight will be the first in shuttle history with a system formally classified in the "unacceptable risk" category.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 21]
Opposition to flight hinges on risk to shuttle, not crew
NASA safety director Bryan O'Connor and chief engineer Chris Scolese both voted "no-go" for the shuttle Discovery's launch July 1 because of concerns foam loss could, in a worst-case scenario, lead to loss of the shuttle. But both men, in hand-written notes scribbled on NASA's official Certificate of Flight Readiness, said they did not oppose Administrator Mike Griffin's decision to proceed with launch because the crew of a damaged shuttle could move into the space station to await rescue.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 20]
Hale says no pressure due to 2010 shuttle deadline
Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale played a direct role in classifying ice-frost ramps on the shuttle's external tank as "probable/catastrophic," but he told CBS Radio Tuesday his primary intention was to elevate the issue to a level that would ensure it received the proper attention.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 20]
Safety chief, top engineer discuss shuttle decision
NASA's safety chief and the agency's top engineer said Monday in a joint statement they did not oppose launching the shuttle Discovery July 1 despite serious concern about so-called ice-frost ramps on the ship's external fuel tank.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 19]
Shuttle launch date set despite safety objections
NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, overruling objections from the agency's chief engineer and safety office, cleared the shuttle Discovery for launch July 1 on a mission to service and resupply the international space station. The flight also will clear the way for the resumption of station assembly later this fall and deliver a third full-time crew member to the international outpost.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 17]
   ASCENT DATA PACKET
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Debate still rages about shuttle fuel tank foam risks
NASA managers met at the Kennedy Space Center Friday to formally review the shuttle Discovery's flight processing and its readiness for launch as early as July 1. One major item on the agenda is a discussion of the threat posed by foam making up so-called ice-frost ramps on the shuttle's external tank.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 16]
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Crew boards shuttle for countdown rehearsal
Space shuttle Discovery's seven astronauts climbed aboard their spaceship at launch pad 39B Thursday morning for the final three hours of a mock countdown that ended with a simulated main engine shutdown and crew evacuation.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 15]
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Space shuttle crew fields questions at launch pad
The Discovery astronauts reviewed emergency procedures at the launch pad Wednesday and geared up for a dress-rehearsal countdown Thursday that will set the stage for a major management review Friday and Saturday to set an official launch date. Discovery's launch window opens July 1 and if commander Steve Lindsey has anything to say about it, that's the date management will pick.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 14]
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Discovery astronauts arrive for practice countdown
The shuttle Discovery's crew, running a day late because of tropical storm Alberto, flew to the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday to practice emergency procedures and take part in a dress rehearsal countdown Thursday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 13]
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VIDEO: SHUTTLE MISSION PREVIEW DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: STATION ACTIVITIES ON STS-121 DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
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VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND ISS PROGRAM PERSPECTIVE
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Discovery's fuel tank receives certification
NASA managers Wednesday cleared the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank for flight based on wind tunnel data and computer modeling that show the huge tank can stand up to the aerodynamic rigors of launch despite the recent removal of long foam wind deflectors. Launch currently is targeted for July 1, but the long-awaited flight could slip another day or so to ensure better lighting for critical photography of the tank after Discovery reaches orbit.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 7]
Discovery passes launch debris review for July liftoff
After a "spirited" two-day review, NASA managers today concluded the agency has reduced the threat of catastrophic damage from external tank foam and other debris to an acceptable level, a major milestone on the road to clearing the Discovery for launch July 1 on the second post-Columbia shuttle mission.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 31]
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Hale says 'rough cut' wind tunnel data is positive
Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale, on hand for Discovery's rollout to launch pad 39B Friday, said a preliminary look at complex wind tunnel data shows the ship's redesigned external fuel tank should be safe to fly in July. While stressing that a detailed analysis of the data is ongoing and saying new problems could always crop up, "the preliminary loads indications are good, but we have to wait until they get to the bottom line."
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 19]
Space shuttle Discovery makes trek to launch pad
Discovery has arrived at pad 39B for its planned July 1 liftoff on the second post-Columbia space shuttle test flight. Friday's rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building took eight hours to complete.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER [Posted: May 19]
   IMAGES: ROLLOUT BEGINS
   IMAGES: GALLERY PART 2
   IMAGES: DISCOVERY REACHES PAD
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Photo gallery: Shuttle Discovery departs hangar
This collection of photos shows space shuttle Discovery's milestone move on May 12 from its processing hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.
   ENTER GALLERY
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VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ARRIVAL INSIDE THE VAB PLAY
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Discovery moves into Vehicle Assembly Building
In a move both symbolic and significant for July's space shuttle launch, Discovery made a quarter-mile transfer from its hangar to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building on Friday. The shuttle will be mounted to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters inside the VAB in preparation for rollout to launch pad 39B next Friday.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER [Posted: May 12]
Fuel tank for Atlantis will get new sensors too
NASA managers Thursday decided to swap out engine cutoff - ECO - sensors inside the liquid hydrogen section of an external fuel tank slated for use with the shuttle Atlantis in late August. Because of lingering questions about subtle failure modes, engineers at the Kennedy Space Center earlier installed a fresh set of hydrogen ECO sensors in the tank that will be used on the next flight in July.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 11]
   SHUTTLE/ISS CALENDAR
   UPDATED FLIGHT PLAN
   TIMELINE WALKTHROUGH
   LAUNCH WINDOWS CHART
   MISSION QUICK-LOOK: Page 1 | Page 2
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Shuttle managers decide against special fueling test
NASA managers today ruled out a June 1 fueling test with the shuttle Discovery, deciding there was no clear-cut technical justification for a complex exercise that would put unwanted stress on the tank's foam insulation and use up valuable contingency time.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 4]
NASA analysis of shuttle fuel tank enters final stages
NASA managers have decided not to make any major, last-minute changes to the foam insulation that prevents ice from forming around fittings that hold pressurization lines and a cable tray to the space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. Work to minimize the amount of foam used on the fittings will continue but in the near term, wind tunnel testing shows the so-called ice/frost ramps should stand up to the aerodynamic buffeting of launch as is, without shedding large, potentially dangerous pieces of insulation.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 28]
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VIDEO: FOAM REAPPLIED TO EXTERNAL TANK ACCESS PORT PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK MATED TO SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS PLAY
VIDEO: PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR HANGAR DEPARTURE PLAY
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Spacewalk strategy revised for next shuttle flight
Because of an over-loaded crew timeline and new heat-shield inspection requirements, shuttle flight planners have decided to eliminate one of three previously planned spacewalks from Discovery's upcoming mission - a spacewalk devoted to testing heat-shield repair techniques - in order to give the crew more time off in orbit, officials say. If the astronauts can conserve enough power, however, and if Discovery doesn't tarry on the launch pad, the mission will be extended one day and the spacewalk will be put back in the flight plan.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 17]
Tank foam lost during shuttle wind tunnel test
During wind tunnel tests earlier this week, NASA subjected a full-scale mockup of a shuttle external tank section to aerodynamic forces greater than a real tank would experience during launch. In one series of tests, unmodified foam insulation used to prevent ice buildups around external fittings suffered only minor damage while a redesigned "ice/frost ramp" suffered major foam loss.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 13]
   UPDATED FLIGHT PLAN
   MISSION QUICK-LOOK: Page 1 | Page 2
Space shuttle engineers assess new wiring issue
Initial wind tunnel tests indicate recent modifications to the foam insulation on the shuttle's external tank may not be as easily analyzed as initially hoped, sources say. While additional testing may resolve the matter, showing the removal of wind deflectors called PAL ramps from the tank will not compromise safety, other ongoing technical issues, including a new concern about possible circuit board wiring problems, threaten the July 1 target date for the next shuttle mission.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 28]
Shuttle launch delayed to July 1 for tank sensor swap
The shuttle Discovery's launch on the second post-Columbia mission has been delayed to at least July 1 because of work to replace suspect engine cutoff sensors in the ship's external tank. Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale made the decision Tuesday, after two days of detailed engineering discussions, even though the issue was not an open-and-shut case and even though the sensor in question may be good enough to fly. "This was not an easy decision," Hale told reporters.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 14]
   NASA STATEMENT
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Ultrasound on Discovery arm; Endeavour tiles hit
The shuttle Discovery's robot arm is undergoing ultrasound inspections after a weekend mishap in which a moveable access bucket bumped into the arm during work to clean up broken glass. Two small indentations were found underneath the arm's insulation blankets and NASA wants to make sure the underlying structure wasn't damaged. At the same time, engineers are assessing tile damage to the shuttle Endeavour's body flap caused by equipment that slipped off a tray used by workers inspecting the ship's rudder/speed brake.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 8]
NASA assesses unexpected reading from tank sensor
Shuttle engineers are studying what, if anything, to do about an unexpected reading from one of four liquid hydrogen main engine cutoff - ECO - sensors in Discovery's external fuel tank, officials said today. The sensors play a critical role during the climb to space by ensuring a shuttle's main engines shut down normally before draining the ship's external tank. A malfunction could trigger an early engine shutdown or let the powerplants run too long.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 7]
   ENGINE CUT-OFF SENSOR BACKGROUND
Shuttle Discovery's robotic arm examined after 'bump'
Engineers are looking under the insulation on the shuttle Discovery's robot arm to make sure an inadvertent "bump" by a moving servicing bucket didn't cause any damage.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 6]
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Shuttle boss 'optimistic' about three flights in '06
If NASA can get the shuttle Discovery off the ground on the second post-Columbia mission this spring or summer, the agency will have a realistic shot at launching three flights this year, program manager Wayne Hale told reporters Tuesday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Feb. 28]
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Shuttle fuel tank en route; Schedule options debated
The shuttle Discovery's modified external tank may arrive at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, a day early, to kick off the final push toward launch of the second post-Columbia shuttle mission. But agency officials say unfinished foam work, testing and resolution of other on-going issues will make it extremely difficult for NASA to meet its May target launch date.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Feb. 27]
NASA studies shuttle engine seals, contamination
NASA now plans to ship the next external fuel tank to the Kennedy Space Center ahead of schedule and the shuttle Discovery's commander said Friday the astronauts remain optimistic about launching in May on the second post-Columbia mission. But a variety of technical issues remain on the table, including wind tunnel tests to show fuel tank changes will work as expected, an ice and debris analysis and, most recently, main engine seal leaks and metallic contamination in the main propulsion system.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Feb. 17]
   STS-121 FLIGHT PLAN
   KEY PERSONNEL CHART
   MISSION QUICK-LOOK: Page 1 | Page 2
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Shuttle leaders decide to remove tank foam ramps
NASA engineers and managers have recommended the removal of a protective foam air deflector from the shuttle's external tank to eliminate a major source of potentially dangerous launch debris, a top agency official said Thursday. While NASA has not given up launching the next flight in May, additional work to implement and certify other changes required by the deflector removal could push the launch to later next summer.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Dec. 15]
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Shuttle team set to debate removing tank foam ramps
NASA managers plan to meet next week to discuss whether to ship a shuttle external fuel tank to Florida in early February without so-called PAL ramp wind delectors in hopes wind tunnel tests and computer modeling will prove the ramps aren't needed to shield external pressurization lines and a cable tray from aerodynamic buffeting.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Dec. 8]
   IMAGES: FOAM LOST ON JULY LAUNCH
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Mysterious space shuttle oxygen leak being probed
NASA and contractor engineers are studying data indicating a possible oxygen leak in the shuttle Discovery's aft engine compartment during its return-to-flight mission last July.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Dec. 8]
   VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT | THE MISSION
Cause of Discovery tank foam loss still unresolved
Four months after the shuttle Discovery's long-awaited return to flight last July, NASA engineers still don't know what caused a large piece of potentially dangerous foam to break away from a so-called PAL ramp on the side of the ship's external fuel tank.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 22]
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NASA hopeful tests can pave way to May launch
NASA managers are hopeful an exhaustive series of upcoming tests will help engineers pin down what caused foam insulation to fall off the shuttle Discovery's external tank during launch last July and, if all goes well, clear the way for another launch next May.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Oct. 14]
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When will the next space shuttle launch?
Two key NASA facilities in the path of Hurricane Katrina suffered relatively minor damage, agency officials said Thursday, but hundreds of government and contractor workers are now homeless and recovery costs could top $1 billion when all is said and done. NASA managers do not yet know what impact the storm damage will have on plans to launch the next shuttle mission, a flight that had been tentatively targeted for takeoff in early March.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Sept. 8]
Next space shuttle launch: March 2006
As expected, NASA managers Thursday announced the next space shuttle flight will be delayed until at least next March to give engineers time to fix the external tank foam insulation problems that marred shuttle Discovery's launch last month.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Aug. 18]
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Shuttle Status
Discovery touched down at 9:14 a.m. EDT on Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15.

Dramatically changing weather conditions forced a switch in runways late in the descent.

See Discovery's path during re-entry and landing.


See the Status Center for full play-by-play coverage.


STS-134 Patch

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The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
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STS-133 Patch

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The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!
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Anniversary Shuttle Patch

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This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
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Mercury anniversary

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
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Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
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Apollo Collage
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Expedition 21
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.
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Hubble Patch
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.
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