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Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
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:

During a scheduled Space Shuttle Program meeting today, managers ratified the target launch dates for the first three missions in 2007. New dates are as follows:
  • STS-117 aboard Atlantis NET March 16
  • STS-118 aboard Endeavour NET June 28
  • STS-120 aboard Atlantis NET Sept. 7

Mission: STS-116 - 20th International Space Station Flight (12A.1) - P5 Truss Segment
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3
Launch Date: No earlier than Dec. 7, 2006
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Polansky, Oefelein, Curbeam, Higginbotham, Patrick, Fuglesang and Williams
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

On Tuesday, drivers moved Space Shuttle Discovery atop the 76-wheeled orbiter transporter system from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Discovery's first motion out of the processing facility took place at 9:23 p.m.

Once in the assembly building, technicians began attaching Discovery to its propulsion elements: an external fuel tank, designated ET-123, and twin solid rocket boosters. The hard mate, the permanent connect of the vehicle to the tank, was completed this morning. Following those operations, technicians began final integration, preparations and closeouts for flight.

Discovery's next milestone is the 4.2-mile trip to Launch Pad 39B. The rollout of the shuttle to the launch pad is scheduled for Nov. 7, with first motion of the vehicle out of the assembly building targeted for 7 a.m.