Suggested Searches


Occurred 18 years ago

STS-121 was a 2006 NASA Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station flown by Space Shuttle Discovery.

Space Shuttle


mission duration

12 days, 18 hours, 37 minutes, 54 seconds


July 4, 2006


July 17, 2006
STS-121 crew in orange flight suits pose before the Discovery Space Shuttle
These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-121 crew portrait. From the left are mission specialists Stephanie D. Wilson, and Michael E. Fossum, Commander Steven W. Lindsey, mission specialist Piers J. Sellers, pilot Mark E. Kelly; European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and mission specialist Thomas Reiter of Germany; and mission specialist Lisa M. Nowak. The crew members are attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suit. The crew, first ever to launch on Independence Day, tested new equipment and procedures to improve shuttle safety, as well as delivered supplies and made repairs to the space station.

Mission Facts

Mission: International Space Station Assembly Flight ULF1.1
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launched: July 4, 2006 at 2:37:55 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Landing: July 17, 2006 at 9:15:49 a.m. EDT
Runway: 15
Revolution: 202
Mission Duration: 12 days, 18 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds
Miles Traveled: 5.3 million

Mission Details

The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery tested new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of space shuttles during the STS-121 mission to the International Space Station. It also performed maintenance on the space station and delivered supplies, equipment and a new Expedition 13 crew member to the station.

This mission carried on analysis of safety improvements that debuted on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and built upon those tests.


Steven Lindsey, Commander

Mark Kelly, Pilot

Piers Sellers, Mission Specialist

Michael Fossum, Mission Specialist

Lisa Nowak, Mission Specialist

Stephanie Wilson, Mission Specialist

Thomas Reiter, Mission Specialist

Featured Story

Retired Space Shuttle Locations

Shuttle Atlantis – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Shuttle Discovery – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Shuttle Endeavour – California Science…

Read the Story