SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
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 Station’s 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 station’s 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