CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Apr. 6, 2005) — Space Shuttle Discovery was moved to launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center today, the first step along a new path of discovery charted by the nation’s Vision for Space Exploration.

According to the Coalition for Space Exploration, the liftoff of Discovery and its crew of seven astronauts ­ expected to take place between May 15 and June 3 ­ will not just return the U.S. space program to flight but also will usher in a bold new era of space exploration.

“Every long journey begins with one short step, and Discovery’s rollout to the pad marks that milestone for the Vision for Space Exploration,” said Jeff Carr, Coalition chairman. “This mission will set the stage for future journeys back to the Moon and on to Mars and beyond.”

“The Coalition congratulates NASA and the Shuttle team for rolling out Discovery and achieving this important move toward return to flight,” Carr said.

The Space Shuttle will be used to complete the assembly of the International Space Station, as it is the only launcher designed to carry station components and support orbital construction. Meanwhile, a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, will be designed and developed for future exploration missions.

“Operating the Shuttle will help us keep our human space flight skills sharp as the new Crew Exploration Vehicle is developed as part of Project Constellation,” Carr said. “With every shuttle mission, we will become better prepared to solve the unknown challenges still ahead.”

Discovery is to fly a 12-day mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station and test new procedures and equipment developed since the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

For updates on Discovery’s countdown and launch status visit

About the Coalition

The Coalition for Space Exploration is a diverse group of companies, nonprofit organizations, trade associations and unions dedicated to supporting the nation’s Vision for Space Exploration, which will ensure America remains a leader in space, science and technology ­ key factors that create jobs, promote the nation’s economy, contribute to our national security, and gratify humanity’s need to explore. For more information please visit