[sarex] NASA's Shuttle Discovery Begins Mission to the Space Station
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Sun Dec 10 00:45:04 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> Dec. 9, 2006
> Jessica Rye/Katherine Trinidad
> Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
NASA'S SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BEGINS MISSION TO THE SPACE STATION
> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Discovery and its
> seven-member crew lifted off Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space
> Center at 8:47 p.m. EST on one of the most complex missions ever to
> the International Space Station.
> Shortly before launch, Discovery's Commander Mark Polansky said he and
> his crew were excited to continue assembly of the station, "We look
> forward to lighting up the night sky and rewiring ISS."
> After hearing of the successful liftoff, Expedition 14 Commander
> Michael Lopez-Alegria told Mission Control in Houston "We'll leave
> the light on," in anticipation of the space shuttle crew's arrival,
> now scheduled for Monday.
> Low clouds delayed Discovery's launch on Thursday night. After
> standing down on Friday, weather was much better for Saturday's
> During the 12-day mission, designated STS-116, a new structural
> component will be added to the station. Shuttle and station crews
> will work with ground teams to install the P5 truss. This latest
> addition to the station's backbone weighs 4,000 pounds and will
> extend the left side of the truss to allow future solar panels to
> The mission also includes extensive work to reconfigure the station's
> electrical and cooling systems from temporary to permanent mode.
> During the mission, ground control will shut down and reroute the
> station's power in stages so that the astronauts can reconfigure the
> power system and make the P4 solar arrays delivered during the last
> mission fully operational. This complex operation has never been done
> before. Part of an existing solar panel will be retracted to allow
> the P4 arrays to track the sun for a full 360 degrees and provide
> power to the rest of the station.
> As part of these operations, the station's temporary cooling system
> will be deactivated and a permanent system will become operational.
> The station's newest resident will also be traveling aboard Discovery.
> Astronaut Sunita Williams joins the Expedition 14 crew. Thomas
> Reiter, a European Space Agency astronaut who has been aboard the
> station since July, will return to Earth with the Discovery crew.
> Williams is scheduled to spend six months on the station.
> Discovery's crew is Polansky, Pilot Bill Oefelein and mission
> specialists Bob Curbeam, Joan Higginbotham, Nicholas Patrick,
> Williams and Christer Fuglesang, a European Space Agency astronaut.
> For the latest information about the STS-116 mission and its crew,
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