Framed by palm trees, Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off Launch Pad 39B at 2:38 p.m. EDT. The fiery display fit the day: Fourth of July. The launch made history as it was the first ever launch on Independence Day. During the 12-day mission, the STS-121 crew of seven will test new equipment and procedures to improve shuttle safety, as well as deliver supplies and make repairs to the International Space Station. Landing is scheduled for July 17 at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility.