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April 26, 2005

NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3341


Get ready for liftoff of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery as it prepares to Return to Flight!

StenniSphere, the visitor center at NASA's Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi, will celebrate the historic launch with a new exhibit opening May 2. NASA's Return to Flight mission for the Space Shuttle, designated STS-114, is targeted for launch May 22 in a launch window that extends to June 3. It will be the first Space Shuttle launch since the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.

Visitors can sign their names to a special banner offering good wishes to the seven-astronaut crew, and can experience a Space Shuttle launch in the Shuttle Launch Experience. Displays feature the Return to Flight mission and its crew and the role Stennis Space Center has played in returning the Shuttle to safe flight.

Space Shuttle Discovery will travel to the International Space Station with seven crew members: Commander Eileen M. Collins, Pilot James M. Kelly, and Mission Specialists Charles Camarda, Wendy Lawrence, Soichi Noguchi, Stephen Robinson and Andrew Thomas. On its 12-day mission, the crew test new equipment and procedures intended to make Shuttles safer, as well as will deliver food, water and experiments to the International Space Station.

The three Space Shuttle Main Engines that will propel Discovery into orbit were tested at Stennis Space Center, where all the Shuttle's Main Engines have been tested and proven flight-worthy since 1975. Stennis Space Center has played a key role in ensuring the Space Shuttle is ready to fly safely again.

The Space Shuttle's Return to Flight begins the journey to finish construction of the International Space Station, return to the Moon and go on to explore Mars and the solar system. Discoveries from these explorations will continue to advance scientific knowledge as well as lead to the development of new, everyday technologies.

Stennis Space Center is located in Hancock County, Miss., near Bay St. Louis. Stennis Space Center's visitor center, StenniSphere, offers free tours of America's largest rocket-test complex. Tours to StenniSphere begin at 10 a.m. from the Launch Pad, located at the Mississippi Welcome Center, Interstate 10, Exit 2. A photo ID is required for admission.

For more information, call (800) 237-1821 or (228) 688-2370; or visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/index.html
and click on the StenniSphere logo.

Related Multimedia:
+ http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/news/newsreleases/2005/STS-05-067-caption.html


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