Space Shuttle Discovery STS-131 is being fueled for a scheduled liftoff at 6:21 AM EST, and will be only the sixth twilight launch. Shuttle Discovery's trajectory towards the International Space Station will take it north, along the American eastern seaboard, visible to early risers as far north as New York. [more inside]
The best space shuttle launch video you will see today. As compiled and edited by NASA's SE&I imagery team at Johnson Space Center.
NASA says shuttle is ready for July 13 launch, but doubts remain. With two catastrophic failures marring the Space Shuttle's safety record, many people fear that the coming launch of the shuttle Discovery could turn in to a billion-dollar fireworks display. While NASA is optimistic about the coming mission, an independent panel of aerospace executives, academics and former astronauts are not. They concluded that NASA has failed to fully implement three of the fifteen return-to-flight recommendations made by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) in August 2003. While we wish the astronauts a safe and uneventful journey, serious doubts remain as to NASA's competency to continue carrying mankind to the stars. Perhaps our best hopes now lie with private ventures such as Scaled Composites?
The space shuttle launches tomorrow at 5:11 pm CST! I know these launches seem somewhat routine, but it's still the most dangerous job in the world, and each launch still fascinates me. You can watch the launch from the Houston Chronicle's live feed.