Discovery lifts-off into nightsky

Launch STS-116
Discovery lights up the night sky over Florida
10 December 2006

02:47 CET Space Shuttle Discovery launches into the nightsky over Florida. More later.....

02:35 CET After a final poll a "go" has been given for launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-116 mission to the International Space Station. The launch is scheduled for 02:47 CET (01:47 UT).

Walkout STS-116
STS-116 crew walkout to the Astrovan for the second launch attempt on 9 December 2006

01:00 CET The Shuttle's hatch has been closed and a leak check performed. Weather over the launch site at Cape Canaveral has greatly improved - the chances of a launch going ahead today are now at 70 percent.

00:09 CET The seven members of the STS-116 crew are seated inside Discovery. ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang was fourth to enter the orbiter, holding up a card with a greating to Sweden and Norway, ending with a 'Vive l'Europe'!

Meanwhile, the weather forecast at the Cape has slightly improved to a 60 percent chance that the weather will prohibit launch.

The launch countdown continues to proceed to schedule.

Walkout STS-116
STS-116 crew walkout to the Astrovan for the second launch attempt on 9 December 2006

22:00 CET: Tanking of the orange external tank is complete ahead of tonight’s scheduled launch of Discovery from Cape Canaveral. There is currently a 70 percent chance that the weather will prohibit launch - weather reports predict strong crosswinds and a chance of rain showers.

The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-116 to the International Space Station is scheduled for 20:47 Florida time (02:47 CET, 01:47 UT on 10 December). Filling of Discovery's external fuel tank was completed around 21:40 CET.

The weather at the launch site in Florida is set to improve over the coming days. The outlook for Sunday and Monday is for a 60 percent chance of weather prohibiting launch, with the odds improving to 40 percent for Tuesday and Wednesday.

STS-116 countdown highlights

(Countdown events are targeted for the schedules launch time of 20:47 EST on 9 December 2006 (10 Dec. 02:47 CET, 01:47 UT)

18:27 CET (12:27 EST - Florida time)...Astronauts undergo final pre-launch medical exams
19:52 CET (13:52 EST)...Countdown enters a 3-hour built-in hold at the T-3 hour mark; fuelling enters stable replenish
20:30 CET (14:30 Florida time)….NASA TV COVERAGE BEGINS
21:02 CET (15:02 EST)...Astronauts have a NASA TV and photo opportunity in crew quarters
22:17 CET (16:17 EST)...Astronauts receive a final weather briefing from the Ascent Flight Control Team at Mission Control, Houston
22:27 CET (16:27 EST)...Astronauts suit up for launch
22:52 CET (16:52 EST)...Countdown resumes at the T-3 hour mark
22:57 CET (16:57 EST)...Astronauts depart crew quarters for Launch Pad 39-B
23:27 CET (17:27 EST)...Astronauts arrive at Launch Pad 39-B and begin to board Discovery
00:42 CET (18:42 EST)...Discovery’s hatch is closed and latched for launch
01:32 CET (19:32 EST)...Countdown enters a 10-minute built-in hold at the T-20 minute mark
01:42 CET (19:42 EST)...Countdown resumes at the T-20 minute mark
01:53 CET (19:53 EST)...Countdown enters a 40-minute built-in hold at the T-9 minute mark; MMT conducts final poll to give a “go-no” decision for launch
(Note: This hold will be extended to meet the preferred launch time of 20:47:34 CET)
02:38 CET (20:38 EST)...Countdown resumes at the T-9 minute mark
02:42 CET (20:42 EST)...Auxiliary Power Units start
02:47 CET (20:47 EST)...LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY ON THE STS-116 MISSION
02:53 CET (20:55:30 EST)...MECO (Main Engine Cut Off).

For the latest information see http://www.nasa.gov

Discovery on launch pad
Space Shuttle Discovery awaits launch at KSC
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