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Hatches Close, Discovery Prepares for Undocking


Hatches Close, Discovery Prepares for UndockingSAREX

STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews gather for photo Image above: The 
STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews gather for a group photo before saying 
their final farewells. Image Credit: NASA

The STS-116 crew bid farewell to the International Space Stationís 
Expedition 14 crew before entering Space Shuttle Discovery. The hatches 
closed between the two vehicles at 2:42 p.m. EST. Attention now turns to 
undocking at 5:09 p.m.est

The two crews will conduct leak checks before Discovery undocks. After 
the two vehicles unlink, Pilot Bill Oefelein will guide the shuttle 
through a partial fly-around of the space station before firing shuttle 
jets to begin the journey home. Discovery is scheduled to land at 3:56 
p.m. Friday at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

STS-116 is wrapping up an eight-day stay at the station. The crew 
continued the on-orbit construction of the station with the addition of 
the P5 spacer truss segment during the first of four spacewalks. The 
next two spacewalks were devoted to the rewiring of the stationís power 
system, leaving it in a permanent setup. A fourth spacewalk was added to 
allow the crew to retract solar arrays that had folded improperly.

Discovery also delivered a new crew member and more than two tons of 
equipment and supplies to the station. Almost two tons of items no 
longer needed on the station will return to Earth with STS-116.

For the latest news and information on the International Space Station 
and the Expedition 14 crew, please visit the main station page. + Read more
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