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STS-114 Aerial view of space shuttle Discovery launch from WB-57 aircraft

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Published on Oct 19, 2010

This video was taken by a high-altitude WB-57 aircraft flying at 50,000 feet during space shuttle Discovery's launch on mission STS-114.

The weather was perfect at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Space Shuttle Discovery stood on its seaside launch pad. At 10:39 a.m. EDT, Discovery's twin white Solid Rocket Boosters thundered to life, carrying a crew of seven explorers on one of the most complicated and closely watched missions in history.

"Liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery, beginning America's new journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond," exclaimed launch commentator George Diller.

During this test mission, NASA accomplished a variety of goals while also learning some important lessons. At liftoff, a large piece of insulating foam broke off the External Tank. Now, NASA engineers are working to determine what caused this and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

The first of two Return to Flight missions, STS-114 included breathtaking in-orbit maneuvers, tests of new equipment and procedures, a first-of-its-kind spacewalking repair, and phone calls from two world leaders.

Mission: International Space Station Flight LF1
Space Shuttle: Discovery
Launch Pad: 39B
Launched: July 26, 2005 at 10:39:00:07 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Landing: Aug. 9, 2005 at 8:11:22 a.m. EDT
Duration: 13 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes, and 48 seconds
Orbital Insertion Altitude: 122 nautical miles
Orbit Inclination: 51.60°

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