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Discovery Close to Catching Space Station


Discovery Close to Catching Space Station

Discovery's payload bay Image above: A video camera aboard Discovery 
captured this view of the payload bay. Image Credit: NASA TV

The two-day chase will come to a close today when Space Shuttle 
Discovery docks with the International Space Station. The orbital linkup 
is scheduled to take place at 5:05 p.m. EST.

The STS-116 crew will begin rendezvous operations around 11:37 a.m. 
today. Commander Mark Polansky will guide Discovery through a back-flip 
maneuver about an hour before docking to allow the stationís Expedition 
14 crew to take pictures of Discoveryís heat shield.

Discovery, which launched Saturday, is carrying the P5 integrated truss 
structure in its payload bay. The STS-116 crew will conduct three 
spacewalks to install the P5 and to reconfigure and redistribute power 
generated by the station.

Also onboard the shuttle is the stationís next crew member. Astronaut 
Sunita Williams will join the Expedition 14 crew about an hour after she 
enters the station for the first time. The hatches between Discovery and 
the station are slated to open at about 7:02 p.m.

*STS-116 Resources*
+ STS-116 TV Schedule 

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