[sarex] Atlantis En Route to California

Arthur Rowe azrowe80 at verizon.net
Fri Jun 22 12:05:13 PDT 2007


*Atlantis En Route to California*

Shuttle Training AircraftImage above: Astronaut Scott Altman approaches 
the runway at
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in a Shuttle Training Aircraft to
assess landing conditions. Image credit: NASA TV


STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault fired space 
shuttle Atlantis’ engines at 1843 UTC to begin the descent for a 1949 
UTC landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Atlantis’ flight path will bring it over San Diego and just east of Los 
Angeles before it touches down at Edwards where it will be greeted by 
fair skies and light winds.

Rain showers forced flight controllers to wave off two landing 
opportunities at Kennedy.

Landing will bring to an end a successful construction mission to the 
International Space Station. Atlantis launched June 8 and arrived at the 
station on 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.

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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