National Aeronautics and Space Administration was scheduled to launch a Space Shuttle Discovery OV-103 rocket as part of the
STS-103 mission. The launch window for the Astrophysics mission was
on Sun, Dec 19th, 1999, 7:50 PM EST from Launch Complex 39A Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch!
Watch the launch video
of the Space Shuttle Discovery OV-103 and experience the excitement for yourself.
Colin Michael Foale CBE is a British-American astrophysicist and former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of six space missions, and is the only NASA astronaut to have flown extended missions aboard both Mir and the International Space Station. He was the first Briton to perform a space walk, and until 17 April 2008, he held the record for most time spent in space by a US citizen: 374 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. He still holds the cumulative-time-in-space record for a UK citizen.
Claude Nicollier is the first astronaut from Switzerland. He has flown on four Space Shuttle missions. His first spaceflight (STS-46) was in 1992, and his final spaceflight (STS-103) was in 1999. He took part in two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (called STS-61 and STS-103). During his final spaceflight he participated in a spacewalk, becoming the first European Space Agency astronaut to do so during a Space Shuttle mission. In 2000 he was assigned to the Astronaut Office Extravehicular Activity Branch, while maintaining a position as Lead ESA Astronaut in Houston. Nicollier retired from ESA in April 2007.
Steven Lee Smith is an American technology executive and former NASA astronaut, being a veteran of four space flights covering 16 million miles and seven space walks totaling 49 hours and 25 minutes. Smith’s spacewalk time places him in the top ten on the all-time American and World spacewalk duration lists.
John Mace Grunsfeld is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of five Space Shuttle flights and has served as NASA Chief Scientist. His academic background includes research in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and the emerging field of exoplanet studies with specific interest in future astronomical instrumentation. After retiring from NASA in 2009, he served as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. In January 2012, he returned to NASA and served as associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Grunsfeld announced his retirement from NASA in April 2016.
Scott Joseph Kelly is an engineer, retired American astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy Captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on Expeditions 26, 45, and 46.
Kelly's first spaceflight was as pilot of Space Shuttle Discovery, during STS-103 in December 1999. This was the third servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, and lasted for just under eight days. Kelly's second spaceflight was as mission commander of STS-118, a 12-day Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station in August 2007. Kelly's third spaceflight was as commander of Expedition 26 on the ISS. He arrived 9 October 2010, on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, during Expedition 25, and served as a flight engineer until it ended. He took over command of the station on 25 November 2010, at the start of Expedition 26 which began officially when the spacecraft Soyuz TMA-19 undocked, carrying the previous commander of the station, Douglas H. Wheelock. Expedition 26 ended on 16 March 2011 with the departure of Soyuz TMA-01M. This was Kelly's first long-duration spaceflight.
In November 2012, Kelly was selected, along with Mikhail Korniyenko, for a year-long mission to the International Space Station. Their year in space commenced 27 March 2015 with the start of Expedition 43, continued through the entirety of Expeditions 44, and 45, both of which Kelly commanded. He passed command to Timothy Kopra on 29 February 2016, when the ISS 11-month mission ended. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-18M on 1 March 2016.
Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the orbiters from NASA's Space Shuttle program and the third of five fully operational orbiters to be built. Its first mission, STS-41-D, flew from August 30 to September 5, 1984. Over 27 years of service it launched and landed 39 times, gathering more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.