The fourth Space Shuttle flight of 1995 is off to an all-but-perfect start, as the Shuttle Discovery surges skyward from Launch Pad 39B at 9:41:55.078 a.m. EDT, July 13, 1995. On board for Discovery's 21st spaceflight are a crew of five: Commander Terence "Tom" Henricks; Pilot Kevin R. Kregel; and Mission Specialists Nancy Jane Currie, Donald A. Thomas and Mary Ellen Weber. Primary objective of Mission STS-70 is to assure the continued readiness of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) communications network which links Earth-orbiting spacecraft -- including the Shuttle -- with the ground. The 70th Shuttle flight overall also marks the maiden flight of the new Block I Space Shuttle Main Engine configuration designed to increase engine performance as well as safety and reliability. (Photo Release Date: 7/13/95 )
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