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5 p.m. CST Friday, Dec. 22, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-116 MCC Status Report #27

The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery made it home in time for Christmas, 
gliding to a perfect landing as the sun set over NASA's Kennedy Space 
Center in Florida.

Discovery touched down on Runway 15 of the Shuttle Landing Facility at 
4:32 p.m. CST. The crew had spent 12 days, 20 hours and 44 minutes in 
flight. Discoveryís nose gear touched down at 4:32 p.m. exactly, and the 
shuttle's wheels came to a stop 52 seconds later.

After an afternoon in limbo, weather conditions along Floridaís Space 
Coast took a dramatic turn for the better, giving flight controllers 
confidence that a band of approaching showers would dissipate before the 
orbiterís arrival. The first opportunity for landing at Kennedy was 
waved off because of stormy weather, and first chance at Edwards Air 
Force Base, Calif., passed due to gusty winds.

The landing was the 63rd to touch down in Florida, but did not qualify 
as a night landing.

Discovery crew members, Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Bill Oefelein, 
and mission specialists Bob Curbeam, Nicholas Patrick, Christer 
Fuglesang, Joan Higginbotham and Thomas Reiter, who is returning home 
after about six months on the station, will return to Houston on 
Saturday. A welcoming ceremony for the crew's return to Houston is 
planned at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at NASA Hangar 276 at Ellington Field.

During Discoveryís mission to the International Space Station, the crew 
continued construction of the outpost adding the P5 spacer truss segment 
during the first of four spacewalks. The next two spacewalks rewired the 
stationís power system, preparing it to support the stationís final 
configuration and the arrival of additional science modules. 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, most of which were located in the 
SPACEHAB cargo module. Almost two tons of items no longer needed on the 
station returned to Earth with STS-116.

The next shuttle mission, targeted for March, will deliver a second 
starboard truss segment and a third set of solar arrays and batteries 
during the Space Shuttle Program's 21st mission to the station.

This is the final STS-116 mission status report.

- end -

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