Stock Photo - The Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member STS-124 crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station (ISS). Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A occurred at 5:02 p.m. (EDT). The STS-124 mission is the 26th in the assembly of the International Space Station. It is the second of three flights launching components to complete JAXA's Kibo laboratory. During the mission, the shuttle crew will install Kibo's large Japanese Pressurized Module and its remote manipulator system. Onboard are astronauts Mark Kelly, commander; Ken Ham, pilot; Karen Nyberg, Mike Fossum, Ron Garan, Greg Chamitoff and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, all mission specialists. Chamitoff will join Expedition 17 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the station.
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