[sarex] Crew Closes Payload Doors; Mission Control Eyes Weather
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Thu Jun 21 09:00:43 PDT 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Crew Closes Payload Doors; Mission Control Eyes Weather*
The STS-117 crew closed space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay doors this
morning in preparation for a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Landing, which is slated for 1:55 p.m. EDT, will mark the end of a
successful mission to the International Space Station.
If flight controllers give STS-117 the go-ahead to land on Orbit 202,
Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault will fire Atlantis’
thrusters at 12:50 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida.
Meanwhile at the Mission Control Center in Houston, flight controllers
and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group continue to
monitor weather conditions at and around the Shuttle Landing Facility at
the Florida spaceport. The main concern is thunderstorms in the area.
Chief Astronaut Steve Lindsey is providing additional weather
information as he flies an aircraft in the vicinity of the landing
A second landing opportunity is available today on Orbit 203 if flight
controllers choose to pass on the first. It calls for a 2:25 p.m.
deorbit burn and a 3:30 p.m. touchdown in Florida. Opportunities are
available Friday in Florida and at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Atlantis launched June 8 and arrived at the station June 10. While at
the orbital outpost, the crew installed the Starboard 3 and 4 truss
segment and conducted four spacewalks to activate it. During the third
spacewalk, the crew repaired an out of position thermal blanket on the
left orbital maneuvering system pod.
Atlantis also delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer
Clayton Anderson. He replaced astronaut Suni Williams, who is the new
record holder for a long-duration single spaceflight for a woman. She
arrived at the station in December with STS-116. If Atlantis lands on
the first opportunity, Williams’ spaceflight will end at 193 days, 16
hours and 8 minutes.
STS-117 is the 118th shuttle mission and 21st mission to visit the space
station. The next mission, STS-118, is slated to launch in August.
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