NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Return to Flight external fuel tank after being jettisoned by the space shuttle Discovery during its launch. The Return to Flight mission (STS- 114) was the first flight of the space shuttle since the Columbia disaster on 1st February 2003. The launch was more closely monitored than any other in order to prevent a repeat of that mission, in which a falling piece of insulating foam during launch damaged Columbia's heat shield, leading to it exploding on re-entry. During Discovery's launch there was some debris loss from this tank, but it did not hit the shuttle. STS-114 launched on 26th July 2005.
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