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"…the vehicle has cleared the tower."

Almost nine minutes after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Space Shuttle Discovery successfully reached orbit, marking the Shuttle fleet’s return to space. STS-114 is the first mission to fly since the loss of Shuttle Columbia and the STS-107 crew on Feb. 1, 2003.

Discovery and its seven-member crew launched at 10:39 a.m. EDT to begin the two-day journey to the International Space Station. Discovery is slated to dock with the ISS at 7:18 a.m. EDT Thursday.

The mission has several objectives. The STS-114 crew will demonstrate new methods of inspecting and repairing the Shuttle’s thermal protection system. Discovery will deliver supplies to the ISS, and the STS-114 crew will perform three spacewalks. The spacewalks tasks will include tasks to repair and outfit the ISS.

Discovery and its crew are scheduled to return to Earth on Aug. 7 at 5:46 a.m. EDT.

Fonte: NASA

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