[sarex] Atlantis Crew Home Safe and Sound
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Wed Jun 27 03:39:15 PDT 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Atlantis Crew Home Safe and Sound*
Image above: The crew of mission STS-117 gather in front of Space Shuttle
Atlantis after landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Image credit:
+ View Larger Image
The STS-117 mission astronauts returned to Johnson Space Center on
Saturday, June 23. Their return was marked by a traditional welcome home
ceremony at Ellington Field in Houston.
On Friday, June 29, Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to begin its
journey back to Kennedy Space Center "piggy-backed" on top of a modified
747 jetliner called the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
Known as a ferry-flight, the orbiter will make the trip from Edwards Air
Force Base in California to Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility in one to
two days, depending on weather conditions.
Atlantis landed at Edwards concluding a successful assembly mission to
the International Space Station with Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot
Lee Archambault at the controls. Atlantis landed at 3:49 p.m. EDT on
The STS-117 crew began its mission June 8 and arrived at the station
June 10. They quickly began work to install the Starboard 3 and 4
(S3/S4) truss structure to the outpost and retracted a set of arrays on
the Port 6 (P6) truss. The (S3/S4) contains a new set of solar arrays
that increases station power-generation capabilities. The P6 will be
relocated during a future assembly mission.
Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Jim Reilly
and Steven Swanson conducted a total of four spacewalks to activate the
S3/S4 and to retract the P6 arrays. During the third spacewalk, Olivas
repaired an out of position thermal blanket on the left orbital
maneuvering system pod.
Landing also marked the end of a record-setting spaceflight by Mission
Specialist Suni Williams. She broke the record for the longest
spaceflight by a woman early in the morning on June 16.
Williams' journey began in December with the launch of STS-116. She
lived on the space station for six months before switching places on the
STS-117 crew with Clayton Anderson, who is now a flight engineer on the
station. When Atlantis landed, she had accumulated 194 days, 18 hours
and 58 minutes during her spaceflight.
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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