STS-121 Mission Journal  

STS-121 Mission Overview

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Discovery's crew, L-R: Wilson, Fossum, Lindsey, Sellers, Kelly, Reiter, Nowak. Image courtesy of NASA.
SHUTTLE UPDATE: Discovery Returns!
NASA image of the STS-121 mission patch.
LEFT: STS-121 crew portrait.
RIGHT: STS-121 Mission Patch. 

Latest Mission News

STS-121 Updated Flight Facts

Mission:   International Space Station Flight ULF1.1
Orbiter: Discovery (OV-103) - (was Atlantis)
Primary Payload: Leonardo MPLM
Crew: 7 (6 US, 1 German)
Launch Date: Tuesday, 4 July 2006
Launch Time: 2:38PM EDT (1838 GMT)
Launch Window: 10 minutes
Launch Facility: Kennedy Space Center, Pad 39B
Docking: 6 July 2006, 10:52AM EDT (1452 GMT)
EVAs: 3 Spacewalks
Undocking: 14 July 2006, 5:48AM EDT (0948 GMT)
Landing: 17 July 2006, 9:07AM EDT (1307 GMT)
Landing Facility: Kennedy Space Center Runway 15
Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles (226 kilometers)
Orbit Inclination: 51.60
Orbit Period: 91.6 minutes (202 orbits)
Duration: 12 Days, 18Hr, 38Min
Flight stats: 115th Shuttle flight (32nd for Discovery)

Mission info from NASA, ESA, and Spaceflight Now! websites

Return To Flight testing continues
STS-121 crew members participate in a Crew Equipment Interface Test at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. From left are Pilot Mark E. Kelly, Commander Steven W. Lindsey, and Mission Specialists Piers J. Sellers, Michael E. Fossum, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson. NASA PHOTO NO: KSC-05PD-0777The crew of space shuttle Discovery will continue to test new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of space shuttles during the STS-121 mission to the International Space Station. It also will perform maintenance on the space station and deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.
This mission is to carry on analysis of safety improvements that debuted on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and build upon those tests.
Discovery will bring a third crewmember to the station, European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter. This will be the first three-person crew since the Expedition 6 crew returned to Earth May 4, 2003. Without the space shuttle to ferry equipment to the station after the Columbia accident, only two people could be supported onboard until the necessary provisions were in place.

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Revised: 10 Jan 2009