Atlantis Undocks From Space Station

 June 19, 2007 011:00 AM EDT

STS-117’s constructive stay at the International Space Station came to a close today when space shuttle Atlantis undocked. The two spacecraft parted ways at 10:42 a.m. EDT as they flew over the Coral Sea northeast of Australia.

After Pilot Lee Archambault backs the orbiter 450 feet from the station, he will perform a full fly-around to allow crew members to collect video and imagery of the station and its newly expanded solar wings. He will perform the final separation engine burn at 12:25 p.m.

Later in the day, Archambault and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester and Steven Swanson will use the shuttle robot arm and the 50-foot long Orbiter Boom Sensor System to conduct a late inspection of the thermal protection system.

The crew will spend Wednesday preparing for landing. Atlantis’ first landing opportunity is at 1:54 p.m. Thursday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

During its stay at the station, which began June 10, the STS-117 crew continued the on-orbit construction of the station with the installation of the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment.

The crew installed the truss June 11 and conducted four spacewalks to activate the S3/S4 and assist in the retraction of 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.

S117-E-07726 (17 June 2007) — Astronaut Patrick Forrester, STS-117 mission specialist,
S117-E-07726 (17 June 2007) — Astronaut Patrick Forrester, STS-117 mission specialist, participates in the mission’s fourth and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA), as construction continues on the International Space Station. Among other tasks, Forrester and astronaut Steven Swanson (out of frame), mission specialist, continued activation of the station’s new starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment; checked out the Drive Lock Assembly 2, one of two mechanisms that will drive rotation of the S3/S4 Truss Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ); and removed the final launch restraints on the SARJ.

S117-E-07719 (17 June 2007) — On the flight deck of Space Shuttle Atlantis, astronaut Jim Reilly

S117-E-07719 (17 June 2007) — On the flight deck of Space Shuttle Atlantis, astronaut Jim Reilly, STS-117 mission specialist, talks to ground controllers while supporting two spacewalking crewmates during the mission’s fourth and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA) while docked with the International Space Station.

S117-E-07749 (17 June 2007) — Astronaut Steven Swanson, STS-117 mission specialist

S117-E-07749 (17 June 2007) — Astronaut Steven Swanson, STS-117 mission specialist, participates in the mission’s fourth and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA), as construction continues on the International Space Station. Among other tasks, Swanson and astronaut Patrick Forrester (out of frame), mission specialist, continued activation of the station’s new starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment; checked out the Drive Lock Assembly 2, one of two mechanisms that will drive rotation of the S3/S4 Truss Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ); and removed the final launch restraints on the SARJ.

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