Discovery launched at 1:19 p.m. CST, October 29, 1998, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39-B.
The space shuttle's launch profile takes it from a vertical position
on the launch pad to an average orbit altitude of 185 statute miles
in just 8 minutes, utilizing three extremely powerful, reusable main
engines and two reusable solid rocket boosters, the largest solid-propellant
motors ever flown. Along the way, the solid rockets and the external
tank that carries fuel for the main engines are jettisoned. The SRB
casings are refurbished and reused; the external tank burns up during
reentry. Here, you'll find a detailed explanation of the launch profile.
Flight controllers in NASA's Mission Control Center
monitor thousands of parameters of data on the performance of the shuttle
and its systems during the launch phase. Here are several streams of
telemetry downlinked directly from the shuttle and seen much as flight
controllers see them.
Support teams at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, launch site and
the Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center work as a team to ready
the shuttle for launch and monitor its ascent to orbit. These highly
trained scientists and engineers "look over the shoulders" of the astronauts
on board. Each team member has a specific area of responsibilities and
duties to fulfill to ensure a safe, successful space flight. Here, you
can look over their shoulders.
of space shuttle systems and subsystems, the product of decades of research
and development by thousands of scientists and engineers, come into
play during the launch phase of flight. Here are details about how the
machine and its crew work together to reach low-Earth orbit.
| Launch |
Orbit | Landing