The STS-117 and Expedition 15 crewmembers

Flight Controllers Test Russian Computers; Management to Discuss Results

Image above: The STS-117 and Expedition 15 crewmembers gather for a group portrait during a joint crew press conference in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station while Space Shuttle Atlantis was docked with the station. Image credit: NASA

Russian and U.S. flight controllers this morning tested the ability of Russian navigation computers to handle attitude control of the International Space Station. If the flight controllers and mission managers like what they saw, space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew will undock from the International Space Station and begin the journey home on Tuesday.

The STS-117 Mission Management Team is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss the results of the test and an announcement of the decision about undocking is expected shortly after the meeting concludes.

The STS-117 crew is scheduled to bid farewell today to the Expedition 15 crew before the hatches close at 6:23 p.m. between Atlantis and the station. Atlantis is slated to undock at 10:42 a.m. Tuesday.

STS-117 arrived at the station June 10, delivering the Starboard 3 and 4 truss segment to the station. The crew installed the truss June 11 and conducted four spacewalks to activate the S3/S4 and assist in the retraction of a solar array on the Port 6 truss. 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.

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