[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
In pictures: Shuttle Discovery

Crew of Discovery

The crew of the shuttle Discovery emerged in bright sunlight for Tuesday's much-anticipated mission.

Security helicopter watches over the van taking the crew to the launch pad

Security was tight as the astronauts made their way to the launch pad.

Astrovan carrying crew to the launch pad passes Vehicle Assembly Building

The shuttle flight would be only the second since the Columbia disaster three years ago.

Crowds waiting for lift-off

Cameras were at the ready as crowds gathered to watch lift-off after the all-clear was given.

Shuttle Discovery on the launch pad preparing for take-off

Safety fears had grounded Discovery but engineers were confident a crack in the insulation system was not a cause for concern.

Crowds watch Discovery take off in the distance

Two attempts at the weekend had been scrapped because of bad weather but Tuesday's conditions were perfect.

Shuttle takes off in the distance

The crew will carry out safety inspections and deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Smoke trail left by Discovery

Discovery is not expected to return to Earth until 16 July.

Watch the launch of space shuttle Discovery

Shuttle Discovery races skyward
04 Jul 06 |  Americas

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific