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*Ice Team at the Pad - 8:30 a.m. Update*
NASA's "Ice Team" is at the launch pad to inspect the exterior, fuel 
tank and other hardware on Space Shuttle Discovery for any evidence of 
ice or debris. The seven-member team makes this final safety survey for 
every shuttle launch. All systems onboard the space shuttle are 
functioning normally and are ready for launch.

Currently, there is an 80-percent chance of favorable weather forecasted 
for launch time. If the weather cooperates, Discovery will liftoff at 
2:38 p.m. for the International Space Station and be the first 
Independence Day launch of a space shuttle!

+ Mission Management Team's decision to go for launch today 

Steven Lindsey commands a crew of five American astronauts, Pilot Mark 
Kelly and Mission Specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie 
Wilson and Piers Sellers, and one astronaut from the European Space 
Agency, Thomas Reiter. This is the 18th U.S. flight to the International 
Space Station and the 32nd flight for Space Shuttle Discovery.

In Discovery's payload bay, the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, 
built by the Italian Space Agency, will deliver more than two tons of 
supplies, equipment and tools on its fourth trip to the station.

While docked, the STS-121 crew will test new equipment and procedures to 
improve shuttle safety, as well as make repairs to the station. Reiter 
will remain with the Expedition 13 crew on the station.

*Live Coverage*
NASA TV coverage of the launch and live countdown updates from NASA's 
Launch Blog began at 8:30 a.m. EDT this morning.
+ Watch NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>
+ NASA Launch Blog 

NASA TV will broadcast a Post-launch News Conference with senior 
managers, about an hour after launch.
+ STS-121 Shuttle Mission TV Schedule 

*Media Resources*
+ External Tank Risk Assessment Masses (81 kb PDF) 
+ External Tank-119 Fact Sheet (460 Kb PDF) 
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