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RE: STS-116 mission
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NASA is estimating that the odds that the shuttle will launch Thursday (in order to completely re-wire the International Space Station in a complicated 12-day mission) are now at 40%. Friday and Saturday are also out - look for a launch no earlier than Sunday.

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ESA-TV coverage of the launch of Shuttle STS-116
ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang is about to become the first Swedish astronaut in space. During the night of 7/8 December, he will board NASA?s Shuttle Discovery as Mission Specialist on flight STS-116. ESA TV will provide live coverage of events at Kennedy Space Centre, as follows:

7 December 2006 20:30 - 00:30 GMT
ESA-TV provides a rebroadcast of NASA-TV with the following key events (all times in GMT):

20:30 Begin of mission commentary
20:56 Astronauts TV and photo opportunity in crew quarters
22:05 Astronauts final weather briefing at Mission Control, Houston
22:15 Astronauts suit up for launch
22:40 Countdown resumes at the T-3 hour mark
22:45 Astronauts depart crew quarters for Launch Pad 39-B
23:15 Astronauts arrive at Launch Pad and board Discovery
00:30 Discoverys hatch is closed and latched for launch

http://television.esa.int/

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Weather Worsening For Thursday's Launch
Space shuttle mission managers are meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to clear Discovery for liftoff on Thursday.

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Sunita Pandya Williams
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Sunita Pandya Williams is all set this week to become only the second woman of Indian origin to make a space flight - albeit under the American flag - reviving memories of the tragic debut which claimed the first, Kalpana Chawla, in 2003.
The 41-year old Sunita, daughter of Dr Deepak and Mrs Bonnie Pandya, is scheduled to arrive at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Sunday to begin final preparations for Wednesday's shuttle mission STS-116, described as having culturally the most diverse of any space shuttle crew.

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RE: STS-116 mission
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STS-116 Press Kit.
The Space Shuttle Discovery launches in December on its 33rd mission to deliver another truss segment of the International Space Station and begin the intricate process of reconfiguring and redistributing the power generated by two pairs of U.S. solar arrays.

Flight Day 1:
* Launch
* Configure for orbit. Open payload bay doors, deploy Ku-band antenna, power-up SMRS.
* Download launch imagery and sensor data.

Flight Day 2:
* SRMS checkout.
* Thermal Protections System checkout.
* Docking system deployment

Flight Day 3:
* ISS Rendezvous
* Rendezvous Pitch Manoeuvre and ISS Digital Photography of Discovery
* ISS Docking
* Hatch opening and ISS ingress
* P5 Truss transferred to ISS robotic arm.
* EVA-1 pre-breathe begins

Flight Day 4:
* Station robot arm installs P5 spacer truss installation on P4 truss attachment.
* EVA-1 (Curbeam and Fuglesang) connect P5/P4 power cables and switch out S1 Truss TV camera.
* Mobile Transporter moves from Worksite 7 to Worksite 3

Flight Day 5:
* P6 truss port array is retracted to enable Solar Alpha Rotary Joint activation and rotation on P4 truss
* P4 Solar Alpha Rotary Joint activation and autotracking of the sun
* Port side loop of External Active Thermal Control System is filled with ammonia
* Curbeam and Fuglesang sleep in Quest Airlock for spacewalk pre-breathe campout protocol in advance of EVA-2

Flight Day 6:
* ISS power down of electrical channels 2 and 3
* EVA-2 to reconfigure electrical channels 2 and 3
* ISS Treadmill Vibration Isolation System gyroscope replacement and maintenance
* Port side loop of the External Active Thermal Control System is activated to allow ammonia to flow
* ISS power up of electrical channels 2 and 3

Flight Day 7:
* Shuttle to ISS transfer work
* Joint Crew News Conference
* Crew off duty time
* Starboard side loop of External Active Thermal Control System is filled with ammonia
* Curbeam and Williams sleep in Quest Airlock for spacewalk pre-breathe campout protocol in advance of EVA-3.

Flight Day 8:
* ISS power down of electrical channels 1 and 4
* EVA-3 (Curbeam and Williams) to reconfigure electrical channels 1 and 4 and transfer Service Module Debris Panels to Pressurized Mating Adapter 3
* Starboard side loop of the External Active Thermal Control System is activated to allow ammonia to flow
* ISS power up of electrical channels 1 and 4

Flight Day 9:
* Shuttle to ISS transfer work
* Mobile Transporter moves to Worksite 2 for S3 / S4 survey for STS-117, then returns to Worksite 4
* Rendezvous tool checkout in preparation for undocking

Flight Day 10:
* Final transfer work
* Farewells and Hatch Closing
* Undocking and ISS flyaround
* Final separation from ISS
* MEPSI pico-satellite deploy
* ANDE pico-satellite deploy

Flight Day 11:
* Flight Control System Checkout
* Reaction Control System Hot-Fire Test
* Cabin Stowage
* RAFT pico-satellite deploy
* Deorbit Timeline Review
* Recumbent Seat Set Up for Reiter in middeck
* Ku Band Antenna Stowage

Flight Day 12:
* Deorbit Preparations
* Payload Bay Door Closing
* Deorbit Burn
* KSC Landing


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The shuttle Discovery astronauts spent the week in Florida, getting a taste of what it will feel like when launch day arrives in less than three weeks.
Launch is targeted for 21:36 EST on 7 December from the Kennedy Space Center.



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Despite some extra risk, NASA hopes next month to launch a space shuttle at night for the first time since the deadly Columbia accident almost four years ago.
If shuttle managers give the go-ahead this month, shuttle Discovery will blast off at 9:36 p.m. ET Dec. 7 on a 12-day mission to build the International Space Station.

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KSC16.11.06

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On Tuesday night, drivers moved Discovery from the shuttle processing facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Discovery, perched on top of the giant, 76-wheel orbiter transporter system, began moving out of the facility at 9:23 p.m. EST.
In the assembly building, technicians attached Discovery to its propulsion elements, an external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. Following those operations, final integration, preparations and closeouts began in preparation for flight.
Discovery's next milestone is the 4.2-mile trip to Launch Pad 39B in preparation for its mission, designated STS-116. During the 11-day mission, the shuttle's seven astronauts will rewire the station to bring online new power supplies generated by solar arrays installed in September.

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Expedition 15
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NASA Announces New International Space Station Crew
NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have named two astronauts and two cosmonauts to the next International Space Station crew, known as Expedition 15. Astronauts Clayton C. Anderson and Daniel M. Tani will travel to the station next year and work as flight engineers. Cosmonauts Fyodor N. Yurchikhin and Dr. Oleg V. Kotov will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Anderson will get a ride to the station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, targeted for launch in June 2007. He will return to Earth on shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-120. That flight will carry his replacement, Tani, to the station. Tani will return on shuttle mission STS-122, targeted for October 2007.
Yurchikhin will command Expedition 15, and Kotov will serve as station flight engineer and Soyuz commander. Yurchikhin and Kotov will fly to the complex aboard a Soyuz spacecraft scheduled to launch in March 2007. Until Anderson arrives, astronaut Sunita L. Williams will serve as Expedition 15's third crew member and flight engineer. She will fly to the station on STS-116 in December.
A native of Nebraska, Anderson was selected as an astronaut in 1998 following a technical career in mission operations at NASA's Johnson Space Centre, Houston. He managed the Emergency Operations Center at Johnson for several years before becoming an astronaut. He has a bachelor's degree from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, and a master's from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
A native of Illinois, Tani has a bachelor's and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996. Tani's first spaceflight was aboard Endeavour in December 2001 on the STS-108 mission. During that flight, he performed a four-hour spacewalk.
Yurchikhin previously visited the space station aboard Atlantis on STS-112 in 2002. He is qualified as a mechanical engineer and has a doctorate in economics. Before he was selected as a cosmonaut, Yurchikhin served as a Russian flight controller and lead engineer for several missions.
Kotov was selected as a cosmonaut in 1996 and has trained for Soyuz, Mir and space station missions. He is a graduate of the Kirov Medical Academy in Russia.

The Expedition 15 backup crew is astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff for Anderson; Sandra H. Magnus for Tani; Russian cosmonauts Roman Y. Romanenko and Mikhail B. Kornienko for Yurchikhin and Kotov.

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STS-116 mission
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NASA will preview the next space shuttle mission during a day-long series of media briefings beginning at 9 a.m. EST, Monday, Nov. 6 from the Johnson Space Centre, Houston. The briefings will be broadcast live on NASA TV and include overviews of the space station and shuttle programs, the mission, spacewalks and a crew news conference.
Space Shuttle Discovery's 11-day mission, designated STS-116, is targeted for launch no earlier than Dec. 7 on a flight to the International Space Station. Discovery will bring a new crew member to the station, and astronauts will rewire the growing orbiting laboratory to bring online new power supplies generated by solar arrays installed in September.
The rewiring during the mission will almost double the electrical power available on the station. Discovery's astronauts will perform three spacewalks to rearrange the station's electrical and cooling systems and install a small, new component of the girder-like truss. The work will require powering down and re-powering virtually all of the station's key systems in one of the most complex assembly missions to date.

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