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STS-116 MCC Status Report #20


8:30 a.m. CST Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-116 MCC Status Report #20

Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts will leave the orbiting laboratory 
today after four successful spacewalks, delivery and installation of a 
new segment of the International Space Station’s main truss and 
reconfiguring the station’s power system.

During their eight days docked to the station, the shuttle crew also 
dropped off more than two tons of additional equipment and supplies and 
a new station crew member.

After some final equipment transfers between the two spacecraft, 
Discovery crew members will bid their station colleagues farewell. Hatch 
closing is scheduled for 12:57 p.m. CST. Undocking is to occur at 4:09 
p.m.(5:09 EST - 1009 UTC)

With Pilot Bill Oefelein at the controls, Discovery will slowly move 
away from the station. A partial fly-around of the station will give the 
crew a look at the orbiting laboratory, with its new P5 spacer truss 
segment and the port wing of the P6 solar array fully retracted and 
firmly secured in its retention box.

Discovery will begin its departure from the area at about 6 p.m. The 
crew is to begin its scheduled sleep period at 10:47 p.m. Landing is 
scheduled for 2:56 p.m. CST Friday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Highlights of docked operations include the four spacewalks. Mission 
Specialist Bob Curbeam participated in all of them, giving him the 
record for the number of spacewalks during a single shuttle mission. He 
teamed up with Sunita Williams, the new station crewmember for the third 
spacewalk, and with Mission Specialist Christer Fuglesang for the other 

The first spacewalk was for the P5 truss segment installation, the 
second and third focused on the power reconfiguration, and the fourth 
was dedicated to completing retraction of the port solar wing of the P6 

The P6 arrays were deployed in late 2000. On Wednesday almost half the 
port wing was retracted, leaving 17 bays out. Saturday spacewalkers 
Curbeam and Williams helped retract six more bays. In a dramatic Monday 
spacewalk, Curbeam and Fuglesang helped complete the retraction.

Discovery crewmembers -- Commander Mark Polansky, Oefelein and Mission 
Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Curbeam, Fuglesang, Joan Higginbotham and 
Thomas Reiter, the European Space Agency astronaut from Germany who will 
be coming home after about six months in space -- were awakened at 7:47 
a.m. CST to “The Zamboni Song,” performed by the Gear Daddies. The song, 
dedicated to the entire crew, was requested by the training team who 
sent a message to Oefelein saying they had arranged for him to fly the 
shuttle half a lap around the station.

Aboard the station, Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and 
flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Williams got their wakeup tone at 
8:17 a.m.

The next STS-116 status report will be issued Tuesday afternoon or 
earlier if events warrant.
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