I hadn’t been tracking the space program…and just found out that Discovery is set to return to orbit sometime this afternoon after being grounded for 2.5 years.
"During their 12-day flight, Discovery’s astronauts will test various techniques for patching cracks and holes in the thermal shielding."
They’ll basically be going to space to work on preventing what happened last time they went to space.
"The crew members also will try out a new 50-foot boom designed to give them a three-dimensional laser view of the wings and nose cap and help them find any damage caused by liftoff debris. That is on top of all the pictures of the spacecraft that will be taken by more than 100 cameras positioned around the launching site and aboard two planes and the shuttle itself."
Read more about it here: http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat=GENERAL&fn=/2005/07/13/177298.html