NASA Successfully Launches Discovery

JULY 26, 2005 - Posted at 10:02 a.m. CDT

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - Space shuttle Discovery is on its way to the international space station.

The shuttle took off this morning, in the first launch since the Columbia ripped apart in the sky two-and-a-half years ago.  Discovery soared into a hazy sky atop a tail of flame.

A fuel sensor glitch scuttled Discovery's launch attempt earlier this month.  But space officials say sensor problems didn't threaten this launch.

The shuttle is on a 12-day mission to service and resupply the international space station.

First Lady Laura Bush, relatives of the Discovery and Columbia crews and other dignitaries were among the observers attending the launch.

NASA officials will carefully study images of the launch to make sure there's no repeat of the damage that doomed Columbia.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)