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article imageSpace shuttle Atlantis lands in California

By Carpenter S. Newton     Jun 22, 2007 in Science
After a successful mission to the International Space Station, space shuttle Atlantis and its STS-117 crew arrived home today at Edwards Air Force Base, one day later than planned. The landing was perfect.
Carpenter Newton reporting for Digital Journal –– After a scrubbed attempt to land Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA picked California’s Edwards Air Force Base as the final landing spot for mission STS-117. With a mission elapsed time of 13 days, 20 hours and 11 minutes, Atlantis touched down at 3:49 p.m. EDT on orbit 219.
While in space, the Atlantis crew successfully installed a new truss segment on the International Space Station, increasing power capacity to the science laboratory and preparing for future delivery of European and Japanese modules.
Atlantis also brought astronaut Sunita Williams back home, ending her record setting 194-day stint in space. Clayton Anderson took her place and will live in the space station until October.
The shuttle crew also did an impromptu repair on Atlantis, folding down and stapling a thermal blanket that was damaged during liftoff.
In orbit, Atlantis traveled 5.8 million miles. STS-117 was NASA’s 118th shuttle mission and the 21st mission to visit the International Space Station.
A welcome ceremony is planned for the Atlantis crew tomorrow afternoon at NASA Hangar 276 at Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center.
Within the next week, Atlantis will be transported via modified 747 jumbo jet from California to Florida, where it will begin immediate processing for its next mission, slated to launch in December.
The next shuttle mission, STS-118, is scheduled to launch in August, and will use shuttle Endeavour. It will be the first launch of Endeavour since November 24, 2002.
Mission accomplished!
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