Their tasks included monitoring the shuttle’s heat shield and preparing for docking at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday.
Fuglesang, who is undertaking his second space mission, wrote a short message after takeoff that was published on Rymdkanalen, a website of the Swedish National Space Board (Rymdstyrelsen):
“We’re on our way! Wonderful start. Felt less shaky than last time. Haven’t managed to see much yet, we are working hard, but Discovery is now properly configured for space. Weightlessness is as fun as it was the first time. Have eaten a little bit too much since dinner and am now going to sleep.”
Friday’s successful takeoff was the fourth attempt during the week. The first attempt on Tuesday was cancelled shortly before liftoff when weather conditions were deemed too dangerous, and two subsequent attempts were thwarted by problems with a liquid hydrogen fill-and-drain valve.