Mission: STS-121 - International Space Station Flight ULF1.1
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launched: July 4, 2006 at 2:38 p.m. EDT
Landing: July 17, 2006 at 9:14 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Duration: 12 days, 18 hours, 37 minutes, 54 seconds
Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 51.60° Rocket's Red Glare Image above: Under clear blue skies, the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121 kicks off the fireworks for the U.S. holiday. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray + View High-res
On July 4, 2006, with a rocket's red glare, Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in a spectacular display of sound and light befitting of Independence Day.
Commanded by Steven Lindsey, Discovery and its crew of seven astronauts roared from Launch Pad 39B to begin a 15,000-mph chase to rendezvous with the International Space Station.
As Discovery raced into the bright blue sky, cheers and applause erupted across Kennedy and along the nearby beaches of Florida's Space Coast. Discovery's Home Image above: Discovery slows to a stop after landing on Runway 15 at NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility, completing mission STS-121. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett + View High-res
Space Shuttle Discovery made a picture-perfect touchdown at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida at 9:14 a.m. EDT. Commander Steven Lindsey and Pilot Mark Kelly guided the ship as it made its 17,000 mph descent from space. The landing completes a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Photo Galleries: + Launch Images + Landing Images