Shuttle Astronauts Prepare for Return to Earth

Shuttle Astronauts Prepare for Return to Earth070619_sts117_shuttle_02.jpg

Image above: The STS-117 crew members aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis talk with reporters. Image credit: NASA TV

June 20, 2007

During its scheduled final full day in space, the STS-117 crew prepared for landing. Two opportunities are available on Thursday for Space Shuttle Atlantis to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Wednesday’s preparations included stowing equipment and checking out systems that will be used to deorbit Atlantis and begin the descent to Earth. Also, the seven crew members took time out of their schedules to talk with reporters from NBC News, ABC News and CNN Live.

The first landing opportunity available is on Orbit 202, which calls for the deorbit burn to occur 12:50 p.m. EDT Thursday with a 1:55 p.m. touchdown. The final opportunity of the day is on the next orbit. It begins with the deorbit burn at 2:25 p.m. and ends with a 3:30 p.m. landing.

Weather forecasts call for a possibility of thunder showers in the area. Flight controllers and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group will continue to monitor the weather at Kennedy.

The STS-117 crew members are returning home from a construction mission to the International Space Station. They installed the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) 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.

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One Response to “Shuttle Astronauts Prepare for Return to Earth”

  1. webglobe Says:

    safe landing Atlantis! come home Baby!

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