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STS-116 Nears End of Busy Stay at Station
ISS014-E-08936 --- Full moon Image above: This view of a full moon was photographed by an Expedition 14 crewmember onboard the International Space Station. Earth's horizon and airglow is visible at left. Image credit: NASA
The STS-116 crew’s stay at the International Space Station is winding down. Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew are slated to leave Tuesday to conclude an eight-day stay in which STS-116 added a new truss segment to the station, delivered a new crew member and rewired the orbital outpost’s power system.
Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station at 5:09 p.m. EST Tuesday.
The STS-116 crew conducted three spacewalks to install the P5 integrated truss segment and rewire the station’s power system. The P5 spacer segment’s attachment to the P4 sets the stage for the relocation of the P6 and its set of solar arrays. The rewiring activities put the station’s power system in a permanent setup. A fourth spacewalk was conducted to assist in the retraction of the troublesome port solar array on the P6.
The P5’s installation is not the only change that the station has undergone since Space Shuttle Discovery docked last week. Sunita Williams, who arrived at the station with the STS-116 mission, replaced European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter on the Expedition 14 crew at midnight Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Williams will remain a member of Expedition 14 until Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin are relieved by Expedition 15 in March 2007. Williams will finish her remaining time of her six-month tour of duty on the station as a member of Expedition 15. Reiter will return to Earth with STS-116.
Also, the STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews have worked together to transfer 4,292 pounds of supplies and equipment delivered to the station by Discovery. The two crews have also transferred 3,725 pounds of cargo that will return to Earth with STS-116.
For the latest news and information on STS-116, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more