NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Note: NASA's Kennedy Space Center issues Space Shuttle Processing Status Reports periodically and is the source for information regarding processing activities associated with the vehicles and payloads. If you are a member of the media and would like further information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/index.html
Mission: STS-116 - 20th International Space Station Flight (12A.1) - P5 Truss Segment
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Dec. 9, 2006, at 8:47 p.m.
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Polansky, Oefelein, Curbeam, Higginbotham, Patrick, Fuglesang and Williams
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
The Dec. 7 launch attempt of STS-116 was postponed due a low cloud ceiling over Kennedy Space Center. The next launch attempt is currently scheduled for no earlier than Saturday, Dec. 9, at 8:47 p.m.
At Launch Pad 39B, the rotating service structure has been moved to the mate position, and workers are preparing to top off the liquid hydrogen tank in the power reactant storage and distribution system, which provides fuel to the fuel cells that serve as the orbiter’s power plant on orbit. Servicing of the system will take place this evening.
The orbiter's external fuel tank, which was drained of its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen last night, will be re-filled on Saturday at approximately 11 a.m., once the go-ahead is provided by the Mission Management Team.
The current forecast for Saturday shows a 70 percent chance of weather prohibiting the launch. The primary concerns are crosswinds at the Shuttle Landing Facility, a low cloud ceiling and isolated showers. The temperature at launch time is forecast to be 63 degrees, with 90 percent relative humidity.
There are two solid rocket booster recovery ships that are deployed prior to each launch. The Freedom Star, which was positioned just off the coast of Cape Canaveral, is back in port and will depart Saturday at noon if the go-ahead is given for launch. The Liberty Star, which is positioned 140 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral, remains at sea awaiting the Saturday launch attempt.