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Discovery Closes In On Station -


The arrival of Space Shuttle Discovery this afternoon will set the stage 
for a change aboard the International Space Station. Discovery, which is 
scheduled to arrive at 5:05 p.m. EST, is delivering a new crew member to 
the station.

STS-116 Commander Mark Polansky guided Discovery through a back-flip 
maneuver about 4:05 p.m. to allow the station's Expedition 14 crew to 
take pictures of Discovery's heat shield. The images will be down linked 
to the ground for analysis by shuttle engineers.

NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams will join the Expedition 14 crew about an 
hour after she and the STS-116 crew enter the station for the first time 
about 7:02 p.m. She will replace European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas 
Reiter, who will return to Earth with the STS-116 crew. The crew 
rotation will be official when the custom-made seat liners are swapped 
out in the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the station.

STS-116 is also delivering the P5 integrated truss structure to the 
station. The P5 will be attached to the end of the P4 to set the stage 
for the addition of the P6. Three spacewalks are scheduled during 
STS-116ís stay to install the P5 and to reconfigure and redistribute 
power generated by the stationís solar arrays.

The Expedition 14 and STS-116 crews will conduct a week of joint 
operations. In addition to the spacewalks, they will transfer cargo 
between the vehicles. Discovery and its crew are scheduled to stay at 
the station until Dec. 18.

For the latest news and information on STS-116, visit the main shuttle 
page. + Read more 

+ Read more about Expedition 14 
+ View crew's daily timelines 
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