Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled linkup with the International Space Station (ISS). Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002. The primary mission objective was to deliver and install the P5 truss element. The P5 installation was conducted during the first of three space walks, and involved use of both the shuttle and station?s robotic arms. The remainder of the mission included a major reconfiguration and activation of the ISS electrical and thermal control systems, as well as delivery of Zvezda Service Module debris panels, which will increase ISS protection from potential impacts of micro-meteorites and orbital debris. Two major payloads developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) were also delivered to the Station. The Lab-On-A Chip Application Development Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS) and the Water Delivery System, a vital component of the Station?s Oxygen Generation System.