NASA's shuttle Discovery was launched successfully at 6:21 a.m. EST Monday, April 5, 2010 from Kennedy International Airport in Florida. The space shuttle Discovery is on it's way to outer space for the STS-131 mission, a 13 day trip to the International Space Station to deliver supplies. Associate administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier said the launch was "a great start to a great mission" and credits a great team from Kennedy with the success of the launch despite "minor technical issues."
One of the objectives of the STS-131 mission is to research microgravity for the biomedical field. Research groups Kentucky Space and NanoRacks have teamed to create the CubeLab, a standardized micro-laboratory, set for installation at the International Space Station. Also, Aerospace Exploration Agency President Keiji Tachikawa from Japan made mention of the fact that two Japanese astronauts will be in space for an unprecedented journey with crew members Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki and Siochi Noguchi taking part in the mission.