STS-116 Fact Sheet

By Cliff Lethbridge

STS-116 – Discovery

117th Space Shuttle Mission

33rd Flight of Discovery


Mark Polansky, Commander

William Oefelein, Pilot

Robert Curbeam, Mission Specialist

Joan Higgenbotham, Mission Specialist

Nicholas Patrick, Mission Specialist

Christer Fuglesang, Mission Specialist

Sunita Williams, Embarking to International Space Station

Thomas Reiter, Returning from International Space Station

Orbiter Preparations:

Tow to Orbiter Processing Facility – July 17, 2006

Rollover to Vehicle Assembly Building – October 31, 2006

Rollout to Launch Pad 39B – November 9, 2006


December 9, 2006 – 8:47 p.m. EST. Launch attempt on December 7 was postponed due to low cloud cover at the Kennedy Space Center. Launch was rescheduled for December 9 due to a poor weather forecast for December 8. Launch on December 9 occurred on schedule with no delays.


December 22, 2006 – 5:32 p.m. EST at Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center. Mission duration was 12 days, 20 hours, 44 minutes, 16 seconds. Landing occurred on the second Kennedy Space Center landing opportunity of the day.

Mission Summary:

The main payload was the P5 Truss, to be added to the International Space Station (ISS). There were four spacewalks during the mission. The first spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 36 minutes. Astronauts Curbeam and Fuglesang attached the P5 Truss and replaced a failed camera outside ISS. The second spacewalk lasted 5 hours. Astronauts Curbeam and Fuglesang rewired ISS electrical power. They also relocated two handrail carts on the rails of the ISS main truss, put a thermal cover on the station’s robotic arm and installed bags of tools for future spacewalks.

The third spacewalk lasted 7 hours, 31 minutes. Astronauts Curbeam and Williams finished rewiring ISS electrical power. They also installed a robotic arm grapple fixture and positioned three bundles of Russian debris shield panels outside the Zvezda module, and helped partially retract the P6 solar array. The fourth spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 38 minutes. Astronauts Curbeam and Fuglesang completed retraction of the P6 solar array.