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Last Updated: Friday July 01 2005 07:11 GMT

Nasa names Discovery launch date


The US space agency Nasa has said it will launch the Discovery space shuttle on 13 July.

The announcement follows a two-day safety review of Discovery to check the space craft is ready for lift off.

It will be the first Nasa flight since seven astronauts died on board Columbia when it broke up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere in February 2003.

Discovery will carry a crew of seven to the International Space Station with supplies and parts.

Earlier this week a safety panel said Nasa had not met the extra safety checks that were brought in after the Columbia disaster.

But now Nasa Administrator Michael Griffin says Discovery is fit and ready to launch: "Based on a very thorough and very successful flight readiness review, we're currently 'go' for launch of Discovery on 13 July," he announced.

There have been 113 shuttle missions. Columbia was the second fatal accident after Challenger blew up in 1986.