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The successful launch Thursday of the rebuilt space shuttle Discovery sent Thiokol employees and Brigham City residents into an orbit of their own.

As the shuttle and its five-member crew rocketed toward space, Thiokol employees and area residents joined a chorus of Americans happy about the launch and its prospects for expanding scientific discoveries in space.Jody Jensen, a secretary in the industrial safety area at Thiokol, said the room where she was watching the launch was quiet until boosters were jettisoned. The mood then quickly changed to one of joyful camaraderie, she said.

"We're all relieved. It's about time we're back in (space). It's hard to settle back down and go back to work," Jensen said, referring to the excitement building before the launch.

Doug Tingey, director of Smith's Food King, Brigham City, said all store employees gathered in his office to watch the event.

"It was just incredible. When the boosters were released, we started cheering. It was like a weight had been lifted. Our job's (boosters manufactured at Thiokol) done. It's in someone else's hands," Tingey said.

Tingey, who has several friends and family members who work at Thiokol, said he has always been a fan of the space program.

Gary Bywater, a Brigham City real estate agent, watched the liftoff during a meeting in his office with other workers.

"It was great. It's super to get back on track. Everyone in the meeting was elated."

Al Cazier, owner of a Brigham City gas station, said launch of the Discovery should help stabilize the economy in the Brigham City area.

"(The economy) has been on iffy grounds. Things are going to get a lot better now. I'm really thrilled that we got the shuttle successfully launched. There's a lot of enthusiasm in town," Cazier said.

Jimmie Jones, a life and health insurance agent, said he was confident the launch would be successful because of all the changes made in the shuttle and the booster rockets.

"I'm not surprised that they're up in space. This obviously means positive things for Brigham City and Thiokol."