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Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands in Florida

Published by Matt on Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:43 pm via: source
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Space shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. at 9:44 a.m. EST, winding up the STS-129 mission that included three spacewalks and more than six days at the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands in Florida. Credit: NASA

Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands in Florida. Credit: NASA

The orbiter took 14 tons of cargo in its payload bay, including two large carriers with spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired next year, to the orbiting laboratory.

Atlantis also brought home Mission Specialist and former Expedition 20 and 21 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott, who spent 87 days on the International Space Station. Her return brings to an end nearly a decade of space shuttle use to rotate crew on the station.

Going Through the Safety Checklist

Work to safely shut down Atlantis’ systems continues. It’s been a little more than 30 minutes since the shuttle and its crew touched down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A landing convoy is gathering around the vehicle to work on “safing” procedures.

Following purge and cooling system connections, the crew transport vehicle, or CTV, will be moved into position alongside the orbiter access hatch on Atlantis’ port side.

Convoy Moves Toward Shuttle

The support convoy of 25 trucks and about 150 people is making its way down the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility to begin safing Atlantis and getting the astronauts out. There is plenty of room for the trucks to move around the shuttle because the runway is as wide as a football field is long. The crew inside the shuttle have been cleared to climb out of their bulky, orange launch and entry suits.

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