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> NASA's Launch Blog - Mission STS-116
> *NASA's launch blog was activated on Dec. 9, 2006 at 2:30 p.m. EST*
> *+ View All Launch Day Videos 
> <http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts116/launch/launch-allvideos.html>* 
> *+ View First Launch Attempt Blog 
> <http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts116/launch/launch-vlcc_120706.html>* 
> *NOTE:* Refresh/Reload your browser every few minutes to view launch 
> control center updates. All times are in EST unless otherwise stated.
> 6:41 p.m. - Welcome news from Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters: 
> With the crosswinds improving and other weather issues having cleared 
> up, the revised forecast calls for only a 30 percent chance of weather 
> prohibiting launch tonight. This is a dramatic improvement over 
> previous forecasts, which indicated a 60-70 percent chance of the 
> shuttle being grounded due to weather.
> 6:35 p.m. - The only weather issue we're still following is the 
> crosswinds problem, and it is trending towards positive. The launch 
> team is extremely hopeful that the winds will die down enough to allow 
> launch tonight.
> 6:34 p.m. - The Closeout Crew has reported that the crew module is 
> closed, latched and pressurized, and cabin leak checks have verified 
> the integrity of the cabin door seal. With a little more than two 
> hours remaining before liftoff, the astronaut crew is safely sealed 
> inside Space Shuttle Discovery, awaiting liftoff at 8:47 p.m.
> 6:28 p.m. - In addition to the bright lights at the launch pad, a 
> bright orange flame can sometimes be seen inside the pad perimeter. 
> This is actually a safety feature: The flame burns away excess 
> hydrogen in the area so it doesn't become a toxic hazard.
> 6:21 p.m. - With the entire STS-116 crew safely aboard Discovery, the 
> Closeout Crew is finishing up in the crew module. Once the Closeout 
> Crew members have completed those last procedures, they will close and 
> latch the crew module and depart the launch pad.
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