|STS-121 Mission Journal|
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|LEFT: STS-121 crew portrait.
RIGHT: STS-121 Mission Patch.
|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)|
|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 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
The 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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