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On-Orbit Station Construction Continues


The STS-116 crew’s stay at the International Space Station is winding 
down. Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew are slated to leave Tuesday 
to conclude an eight-day stay in which STS-118 added a new truss segment 
to the station, delivered a new crew member and rewired the orbital 
outpost’s power system.

Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station at 5:09 p.m. EST Tuesday.

The STS-116 crew conducted three spacewalks to install the P5 integrated 
truss segment and rewire the station’s power system. The P5 spacer 
segment’s attachment to the P4 sets the stage for the relocation of the 
P6 and its set of solar arrays. The rewiring activities put the 
station’s power system in a permanent setup. A fourth spacewalk was 
conducted to assist in the retraction of the troublesome port solar 
array on the P6.

The P5’s installation is not the only change that the station has 
undergone since Space Shuttle Discovery docked last week. Sunita 
Williams, who arrived at the station with the STS-116 mission, replaced 
European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter on the Expedition 14 crew 
at midnight Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Williams will remain a member of Expedition 14 until Commander Michael 
Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin are relieved by 
Expedition 15 in March 2007. Williams will finish her remaining time of 
her six-month tour of duty on the station as a member of Expedition 15. 
Reiter will return to Earth with STS-116.

Also, the STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews have worked together to 
transfer Discovery 4,292 pounds of supplies and equipment delivered to 
the station by Discovery. The two crews have also transferred 3,725 
pounds of cargo that will return to Earth with STS-116.

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