Discovery Lights Up the Night
Flooding the night sky with its blazing light, Space Shuttle Discovery leaps toward the sky from Launch Pad 39B on mission STS-116 at 8:47:35 p.m. EST on Dec. 9, 2006. This is Discovery's 33rd mission and the first night launch since 2003.
The 20th shuttle mission to the International Space Station, STS-116 carries another truss segment, P5. It will serve as a spacer, mated to the P4 truss that was attached in September. After installing the P5, the crew will reconfigure and redistribute the power generated by two pairs of U.S. solar arrays.
Image credit: NASA/George Shelton