"Cheers and shouts can be heard throughout the space center as Atlantis, carrying the STS-122 crew and Columbus Laboratory, roars off the launch pad into the mid-afternoon sky to begin the 24th mission to the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Steve Frick commands a crew of six, including Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love and the European Space Agency's Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. This is the first spaceflight for Poindexter, Love and Melvin."
"Even NASA's normally emotion-free boss, Michael Griffin, was enthusiastic. He said he was sure Atlantis' fuel gauges would continue to work properly and predicted no further problems with the system."