The shuttle, on its final voyage, will spend a week at the orbiting outpost and has delivered supplies and the first humanoid robot to fly in space.
above: the shadow covering Discovery, in this image taken by astronaut Paolo Nespoli, was made by the International Space Station as the shuttle prepared to dock yesterday morning.
A spacewalk is currently taking place at the ISS as two of Discovery’s visiting crew float outside to move a broken ammonia pump and install an extension cable, among other chores.
Discovery should have made the flight in November, but was grounded by fuel tank cracks and only took off on Thursday with two seconds to spare after it was held up by computer errors.
Altogether, there are 12 people on board the spacecraft, representing the U.S., Russia and Italy.
Four of the five major partners currently also have vessels docked there, including cargo ships from Japan and Europe.