[sarex] LAST LAUNCH COVERAGE - STS-116 DISCOVERY
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Sat Dec 9 18:22:23 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
9:00 p.m. - After years in training and two launch countdowns, the crew
of Space Shuttle Discovery has reached orbit and can get down to the
business of completing the most challenging and complex International
Space Station mission to date. Thank you for joining our coverage
tonight. For the latest on this and future missions, visit NASA's Space
Shuttle Web site
8:56 p.m. - Main engine cut-off! Commander Mark Polansky confirms a good
separation. "Discovery, Houston, we saw a nominal MECO," Houston Flight
"You've got a lot of smiling faces up here," Polanksy responded.
8:55 p.m. - Discovery's speed 14,000 miles per hour. The vehicle is
downrange 643 miles from the launch site.
8:54 p.m. - Discovery could now reach Istres, France on one main engine
at this point in the ascent. Discovery's speed is 11,000 miles per hour.
8:52 p.m. - The "Press to ATO" order has been given. Discovery now could
land on two engines if necessary. The vehicle is now 290 miles downrange
from the Kennedy Space Center with three good engines, three good
auxiliary power units and three good fuel cells. So far all is going
well and Discovery will roll into a heads-up orientation shortly.
8:50 p.m. - Five minutes remaining until Main Engine Cutoff. Discovery
is downrange 110 miles from Kennedy Space Center as it climbs to orbit
after lighting up the Central Florida sky.
8:47 p.m. - Ten... nine... eight... we have a go for main engine
start... five... four... three... two... one... booster ignition and
liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery, lighting up the night-time sky
as we continue building the International Space Station.
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