Space Shuttle Poised For Launch July 1
The Space Shuttle Discovery is poised for a launch July 1, according to NASA.
Discovery has a window of July 1 to July 19 to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center for the STS-121 mission to the International Space Station, NASA has announced.
The shuttle was moved from the orbiter processing facility to the vehicle assembly building at Kennedy, so that it can be fitted with a redesigned external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters.
Many components of the shuttle design have been altered since the shuttle Columbia and its crew were lost Feb. 1, 2003, during re-entry, because foam insulation had broken off during launch and damaged the spacecraft, causing it to overheat in a fiery streak across the sky.
During its 12-day mission to the space station, the Discovery crew of seven will test new hardware and techniques to improve shuttle safety, as well as deliver supplies to the station.