Spaceflight Insider

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: STS-131’s Dragon welcomes the Sun

Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — There would only be four more. In some ways, there would be no more. On April 4, 2010 space shuttle Discovery strode to orbit on legs of fire. In so doing, Discovery delivered not only the crew of seven aboard her – but components vital to the the completion of the International Space Station as well. In this image snapped by NASA’s Bill Ingalls, the orbiter’s contrail paints a Dragon across the sky of a new day.

The launch team which aided STS-131’s crew on their path to orbit can be seen departing the Launch Control Center (LCC). Their efforts saw the Multi-Purpose Crew Module ferry racks with scientific experiments to the ISS. During this mission, three space walks were conducted and a gyro assembly was swapped out.


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Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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