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LAUNCH COVERAGE ,NASA's Launch Blog - Mission STS-116



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

LAUNCH COVERAGE    - Dec 7th, 2006
NASA's Launch Blog - Mission STS-116


NASA's launch blog was activated on December 7, 2006 at 3:25 p.m. EST

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5:01 p.m. - In the astronaut crew quarters, the crew is receiving a 
weather briefing. It's still cloudy at the Florida spaceport, but with 
four-and-a-half hours left until launch, there is still time for the 
weather to become more cooperative.

4:48 p.m. - With its inspection complete, the Ice Team is leaving the 
launch pad and heading back to the Launch Control Center to give Launch 
Director Mike Leinbach a final report.

4:39 p.m. - The lights have been turned on at the launch pad as the Ice 
Team is now progressing down to the pad surface. Meanwhile, a gray 
blanket of clouds has rolled in from the west.

4:35 p.m. - The Ice Team is reporting that the launch pad's water sound 
suppression system is in good condition and clear of debris.

Did You Know?
Ground teams have trained for nearly six years to make sure the mission 
timeline is as efficient and safe as possible.

4:25 p.m. - The countdown clock is holding at T-3 hours. This three hour 
built-in hold began at 2:40 p.m.

4:10 p.m. - NAVAIDS activation is complete.

Did You Know?
This will be the 29th nighttime shuttle launch and the first since Nov. 
23, 2002, when Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off on the STS-113 
mission. + Read More

3:58 p.m. - Firing Room 4, our newest firing room, is being used today 
for our launch team, and will continue to be used for the rest of the 
shuttle missions through 2010.

3:55 p.m. - In the dining room of the astronaut crew quarters in the 
Operations and Checkout Building, the STS-116 astronauts are having a 
snack and posing for pictures before putting on their pumpkin-colored 
launch and entry suits. They'll receive an updated weather briefing shortly.

Everything is going well with the countdown. All the vehicle's systems 
are in good shape, and the flight crew and launch team are ready for 
liftoff tonight at 9:35 p.m. Weather is still a concern, but every few 
minutes, blue sky and sunlight peek through the clouds associated with 
today's cold front.

3:50 p.m. - The Ice Team is proceeding to the zero level.

The STS-116 crew visited Kennedy Space Center in November to participate 
in the four-day terminal countdown demonstration test, culminating in a 
dress rehearsal for launch.
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