Framed by Florida greenery, Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off Launch Pad 39B at 10:39 a.m. EDT on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114 to the International Space Station. The crew performed inspections on-orbit for the first time of all of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels on the leading edge of the wings and the Thermal Protection System tiles using the new Canadian-built Orbiter Boom Sensor System and the data from 176 impact and temperature sensors. Mission specialists also practiced repair techniques on RCC and tile samples during a spacewalk in the payload bay. During two additional spacewalks, the crew installed the External Stowage Platform-2, equipped with spare part assemblies, and a replacement Control Moment Gyroscope contained in the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society