Space Shuttle Lifts Off

Space shuttle Discovery has been launched on a mission to rewire the international space station.

Liftoff was at 8:47 p.m. Eastern time.

This is the first nighttime launch of a shuttle in four years.

The illumination from the shuttle turned night into day for the spectators at the Kennedy Space Center.

A cloudy sky with blustery winds earlier in the day gave way to clear skies and a gentle breeze at launch time.

The shuttle's seven astronauts are on a mission to rewire the international space station, one leg of a three-year race to finish construction on the orbiting outpost before shuttles are retired in 2010.