The Space Shuttle "Discovery"'s launch on STS-121 is thrown in doubt when a 3 inch crack is found in the foam insulation of its external tank. Despite the crack, NASA decides to proceed with the launch, scheduled for 2:38 PM ET Tuesday, which would be the first manned launch on the United States Independence Day. [http:--www.spaceflightnow.com-shuttle-sts121-060703crack- (Spaceflight Now-CBS News)] [http:--www.msnbc.msn.com-id-13666974- (MSNBC)] [http:--go.reuters.co.uk-newsArticle.jhtml?type=scienceNews&storyID=12728947§ion=news&src=rss-uk-scienceNews (Reuters)]date=August 2019
NASA announces that the new name for the "Space Infrared Telescope Facility" will be the Spitzer Space Telescope (after the late Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr.). This coincides with the release of the telescope's first images, which show the glowing stars of the Elephant's Trunk nebula, the dusty arms of the Messier 81 spiral galaxy, a disc of planet-forming debris, and organic material 3.25 billion light years away. [https:--web.archive.org-web-20040209030042-http:--sirtf.caltech.edu-Media-releases-ssc2003-06-release.shtml] [https:--web.archive.org-web-20050406170013-http:--rockymountainnews.com-drmn-local-article-0,1299,DRMN_15_2517041,00.html] [http:--www.theaustralian.news.com.au-common-story_page-0,5744,8210502%5E1702,00.html]date=August 2019
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: NASA officials release experimental findings proving that the insulation known to have hit the leading edge of "Columbia" ' s left wing could have created a gap in between protective heat panels.