Discovery docks with Space Station

Discovery docked with ISS
Discovery docked with the ISS at 23:12 CET (22:12 UT)
11 December 2006

Space Shuttle Discovery has successfully docked with the International Space Station. Docking took place at 23:12 CET (22:12 UT) as the two spacecraft flew over southeast Asia.

One hour before docking, Commander Mark Polanski flew the orbiter in a back-flip manoeuvre to allow the Space Station crew to take photos of Discovery's heat shield.

The crews on the Shuttle and the International Space Station will now check to make sure the connection between the two spacecraft is secure before opening the hatches.

Once the checks are complete, the Station's Expedition crew of Michael Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, are scheduled to welcome the Shuttle crew on board the orbital outpost at 01:02 CET (00:02 UT). This will also mark the start of joint operations between the two crews.

With the arrival of ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang with Space Shuttle Discovery, this will be the first time two ESA astronauts are on board the Station at the same time.

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