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STS-116 Flight Day 1 Gallery
 
Part of the Space Shuttle Discovery's aft cargo bay+ View High-res
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STS116-320-001 (9-22 Dec. 2006) --- Backdropped by the horizon of a blue and white Earth and the blackness of space, part of the Space Shuttle Discovery's aft cargo bay, its vertical stabilizer and orbital maneuvering system (OMS) pods are seen in this image photographed by an STS-116 crewmember onboard the shuttle. This image was recorded with a 35mm film-equipped camera.
The Space Shuttle Discovery+ View High-res
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STS116-S-025 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The STS-116 crew will link up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit+ View High-res
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STS116-S-024 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The STS-116 crew will link up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit+ View High-res
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STS116-S-021 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The STS-116 crew will link up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit+ View High-res
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STS116-S-023 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The STS-116 crew will link up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
This image does show a small piece of unidentified debris, not a concern for the shuttle, near the aft end of the external fuel tank+ View High-res
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S116-E-05003 (9 Dec. 2006) --- This image was taken by an electronic camera mounted on the underside of the Space Shuttle Discovery as the shuttle's external fuel tank was jettisoned about eight and a half minutes after launch Dec. 9. The umbilical well camera imagery was dark and not highly detailed as a result of Discovery's nighttime launch. Its quality met the expectations of shuttle engineers. This image does show a small piece of unidentified debris, not a concern for the shuttle, near the aft end of the tank.
This image shows two slightly protruding thermal protection blankets located on the orbital maneuvering system pod+ View High-res
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S116-E-05167 (10 Dec. 2006) --- This image taken by the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery with an electronic still camera Dec. 10 shows two slightly protruding thermal protection blankets located on the orbital maneuvering system pod on the left side of the shuttle's tail. The protruding blankets are being analyzed by engineers but are not expected to be any problem for Discovery.
STSTS-116 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan+ View High-res
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STS116-S-005 (9 Dec. 2006) --- After suiting up, the STS-116 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan, which will take them to launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center. On the right (front to back) are astronauts Mark L. Polansky, commander; William S. (Bill) Oefelein, pilot; and Christer Fuglesang, mission specialists representing the European Space Agency (ESA). On the left (front to back) are astronauts Joan E. Higginbotham, Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Sunita L. Williams and Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., all mission specialists. Discovery's seven-member crew will link up with the International Space Station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
STS-116 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan+ View High-res
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STS116-S-006 (9 Dec. 2006) --- After suiting up, the STS-116 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan, which will take them to launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center. On the right (front to back) are astronauts Mark L. Polansky, commander; William S. (Bill) Oefelein, pilot; and Christer Fuglesang, mission specialists representing the European Space Agency (ESA). On the left (front to back) are astronauts Joan E. Higginbotham, Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Sunita L. Williams and Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., all mission specialists. Discovery's seven-member crew will link up with the International Space Station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.
Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit+ View High-res
+ View Low-res


STS116-S-008 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The STS-116 crew will link up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.