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Shuttle readies for July 1 launch

Discovery's crew members get the go-ahead for a July 1 launch after they undergo final tests and safety drills.
Discovery crew
Discovery STS-121 mission crew members greet the media at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Launch Pad 39B.
NASA / Kim Shiflett
June 20, 2006
Space shuttle Discovery got clearance from NASA's senior managers to fly to the International Space Station on mission STS-121 following a Flight Readiness Review that included safety training and exercises for the crew.

The seven astronauts slated to navigate Discovery into space on its upcoming 12-day mission spent June 14 participating in safety training at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Shuttle commander Steven Lindsay introduced crew members to the media Wednesday morning on Launch Pad 39 B. After fielding questions that included flight-readiness inquiries, crew members familiarized themselves with fire-suppression procedures, an emergency escape walkdown, and launch-pad escape routes.

A complete dress rehearsal for Discovery's July launch was on Thursday's agenda for the crew, which includes commander Steven Lindsay, pilot Mark Kelly, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, and mission specialists Mike Fossum, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers, and Lisa Nowak.

Discovery mission STS-121 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida July 1 at 3:48 P.M. EDT.
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