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NASA GIVES 'GO' FOR SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY LAUNCH



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

Nov. 29, 2006

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-3749

Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468 

RELEASE: 06-359

NASA GIVES 'GO' FOR SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY LAUNCH

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA senior managers today unanimously 
recommended launching the Space Shuttle Discovery on December 7. 
Commander Mark Polansky and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift 
off at 9:35 p.m. EST on the STS-116 mission, one of the most 
challenging flights to continue building the International Space 
Station. 

During the 12-day mission and three spacewalks, the crew will work 
closely with flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center, 
Houston, to install a new segment of the station's girder-like truss 
and activate the station's permanent, complex power and cooling 
systems. 

The launch date was announced after a traditional meeting, known as 
the Flight Readiness Review. During the two-day meeting, top NASA 
managers and engineers assess any risks associated with the mission 
and determine whether the shuttle's equipment, support systems and 
procedures are ready for flight. 

"What struck me during this meeting was how complex this mission is 
and how it fits into the next series of assembly missions," said 
Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, who 
chaired the Flight Readiness Review. "We had a very good discussion 
on a lot of topics and our teams worked hard to make sure we had all 
the information we need to set our launch date for next Thursday." 

Joining Commander Polansky aboard Discovery will be Pilot Bill 
Oefelein, mission specialists Bob Curbeam, Joan Higginbotham, 
Nicholas Patrick, European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang 
and Sunita Williams. Williams will remain aboard the station for six 
months. ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, who has lived on the station 
since July, will return to Earth on Discovery.

For more information about the STS-116 mission, including images and 
interviews with the crew, visit: 

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle


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