STS-116 launch, Space Shuttle Discovery

STS-116 launch, Space Shuttle Discovery

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Caption: STS-116 launch. Space Shuttle Discovery launching from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA, at 20:47 local time on 9 December 2006, on mission STS-116 to the International Space Station (ISS). This image shows water flooding the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP). 300,000 gallons of water are used to supress the noise of launch and protect the shuttle and its contents from acoustic damage. Discovery carried seven astronauts to the ISS, to exchange ISS crew members and to continue the construction of the space station. The launch was from Launch Pad 39B, its last scheduled use for shuttle missions before it is reconfigured for use by the Ares rockets. STS-116, the 20th shuttle mission to the ISS, landed on 22 December 2006.

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