STS-121 Discovery tests tank redesign, continues ISS support
7/4/06 ~ 2:37:55pm

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Space Shuttle Discovery embarked on the second post-Columbia mission July 4th--the first ever US manned launch on Independence day-- and continued to support
the International Space Station and test more techniques astronauts might use in the event of an emergency. The mission flew with another redesigned orange External
Tank, where workers have removed a section of foam that caused problems on the
STS-114 flight last July.

Rollout to launch pad    TCDT crew photos    Crew arrival    RSS rollback

1st launch attempt    2nd launch attempt    Crew walkout      Landing

<--- STS-114                                                      STS-115 --->
A thunderstorm and its enormous anvil cloud hover off the coast on the morning of July 4:
Last photos show the view of Pad 39B in the days before launch from the dry swamps: