Saturday, July 23, 2005
The countdown will begin Saturday afternoon, with liftoff scheduled for 10:39 a.m. Tuesday.
Discovery's mission would be the first space shuttle flight since its sister ship, Columbia, disintegrated over Texas on February 1, 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board.
Discovery's seven-person crew is led by retired Air Force Col. Eileen Collins, NASA's first female shuttle commander. Over the course of the planned 12-day mission, the crew will test a battery of new tools and techniques NASA engineers developed in the aftermath of Columbia to inspect the spacecraft's heat-resistant exterior tiles for any damage that might have occurred during liftoff.
I hope that everything works out safely this time! ... When I was at KSC in June, they were all really looking forward to the launch. We drove on the road that goes behind Discovery in this picture. It was the coolest. :)