Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2005 July 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

America Returns to Human Space Flight
Credit: NASA

Explanation: NASA's launch of the massive Space Shuttle Discovery yesterday brought a nation known for its tremendous space program back to human space flight. Shuttle flights had been suspended for over two years previously following the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia crew on 2003 February 1. The complex, powerful Space Shuttle Discovery lifted a crew of seven into an Earth orbit that will bring them to the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle crew will deliver supplies to the ISS, perform repairs, and test new methods for inspecting and repairing the shuttle's thermal protection system. Three space walks are planned. This Return to Flight Mission STS-114 is pictured above launching from Pad 39B on Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Tomorrow's picture: simply spherical

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.