Spaceflight Now

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

STS-121 Launch Windows
Updated: June 30, 2006

Changes and additions:
- May 11: Posting initial windows chart
- June 12: Updating times for July 1 and 2
- June 20: Updating times throughout
- June 30: Updating launch windows for July 1-3

To reach the international space station, the shuttle must launch within about five minutes of the moment Earth's rotation carries the launch pad into the plane of the station's orbit. For STS-121, launch must occur in daylight and the external fuel tank must separate in orbit, on the other side of the planet, with enough sunlight to allow photo documentation of the tank. Those factors, plus temperature issues based on the angle between the plane of the space station's orbit and the sun result in the following launch windows for shuttle mission STS-121 in July (these times will be tweaked as launch approaches based on the station's actual orbit).

To maximize performance, NASA targets launch for right around the moment the shuttle can launch directly into that plane. In the chart below, the target launch time is listed in the "in plane" column. All times in EDT and subject to change.





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