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Preparations Continue for STS-116 Launch

Status Report From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Saturday, December 9, 2006

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Updated: 12:45 p.m. EST

Space Shuttle Discovery is ready for launch of mission STS-116 from Launch Pad 39B. The rotating service structure rolled back at approximately 9:30 a.m. this morning to enable launch.

NASA officials have set the next launch attempt for tonight at 8:47 p.m. EST. Shuttle weather forecasters anticipate that a cold front will linger in the area this evening, limiting chances for liftoff to 30 percent.

The launch team is preparing to load Discovery's orange external tank with 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen. Personnel are being cleared from the launch pad, and chilldown of the propellant lines -- the first part of the tanking process -- will begin shortly.

The STS-116 mission is the 33rd for Discovery and the 117th space shuttle flight. During the 12-day mission, the crew will continue construction on the International Space Station, rewiring the orbiting laboratory and adding a segment to its integrated truss structure.

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