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Occurred 20 years ago

STS-120 was the 23rd shuttle mission to the International Space Station, and launched an Italian-built U.S. multi-port module for the station.



mission duration

15 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes


Oct. 23, 2007


Nov. 7, 2007
STS-120 crew portrait showing the astronauts in orange flight suits
These seven astronauts took a break from training to pose for the STS-120 crew portrait. Pictured from the left are astronauts Scott E. Parazynski, Douglas H. Wheelock, Stephanie D. Wilson, all mission specialists; George D. Zamka, pilot; Pamela A. Melroy, commander; Daniel M. Tani, Expedition 16 flight engineer; and Paolo A. Nespoli, mission specialist representing the European Space Agency (ESA). The crew members were attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits. Tani joined Expedition 16 as flight engineer after launching to the International Space Station (ISS) and is scheduled to return home on mission STS-122. STS-120 launched October 23, 2007 with the main objectives of installing the U.S. Node 2, Harmony, and the relocation and deployment of the P6 truss to its permanent location.

Mission Facts

Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: Space Station Assembly Mission 10A
Primary Payload: Harmony Node 2
Launch Date: Oct. 23, 2007
Launch Time: 11:38 a.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39A
Landing Date: Nov. 7, 2007
Landing Time: 1:01 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles


Pam Melroy, Commander

George Zamka, Pilot

Scott Parazynski, Mission Specialist

Doug Wheelock, Mission Specialist

Stephanie Wilson, Mission Specialist

Paolo Nespoli, Mission Specialist

Daniel Tani, Flight Engineer, Embarking to International Space Station

Clay Anderson, Flight Engineer, Returning from International Space Station

STS-120: Perfect Beginning and End to a Spectacular Mission

Carrying a crew of seven astronauts, space shuttle Discovery began mission STS-120 with a brilliant, on-time launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 23, 2007.

The prime payload was an Italian-built U.S. module called Harmony. The construction mission’s two primary goals were to attach Harmony to the International Space Station in a temporary position and relocate the P6 truss segment and its solar arrays to the end of the port side of the station.

The mission, commanded by Pam Melroy, also delivered Mission Specialist Dan Tani to the space station, where he replaced astronaut Clay Anderson who returned to Earth on Discovery after spending five months onboard the station.

The crew conducted four spacewalks during the mission, including one which pitted shuttle, station and ground crews against a snagged and torn solar array. 

Outstanding work by the teams resulted in a repaired, fully deployed and functional array, paving the way for upcoming missions.

After 15 days and 238 orbits of the Earth, Discovery and crew were welcomed back to Florida on Nov. 7 where they touched down on Runway 33 at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

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