In pictures: Launch day for space shuttle Discovery
Lift off

Space shuttle Discovery blasted off on its 12-day mission at 1039 local time (1539 BST) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It is Nasa's first orbiter flight since the Columbia disaster of February 2003.

It is crucial that Discovery's mission is a success for Nasa, to prove that manned space missions can continue into the future.

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