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NASA Starts Space Shuttle Atlantis Countdown

Published by Rob on Tue Jun 5, 2007 5:11 pm
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA will start the launch countdown for Space Shuttle Atlantis’ STS-117 mission at 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 5, at the T-43 hour point. The countdown includes 27 hours, 32 minutes of built-in hold time leading to a preferred launch time at approximately 7:38 p.m. EDT Friday, June 8. The launch window extends an additional five minutes.

During the 11-day mission, Atlantis’ crew will resume construction of the International Space Station, working with the station crew to install the girder-like S3/S4 truss segment, unfold a new set of solar arrays and retract one array on the starboard side of the station.

This mission is the 118th space shuttle flight, the 28th flight for Atlantis and the 21st U.S. flight to the International Space Station. STS-117 is scheduled to land at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Tuesday, June 19.

Atlantis' last mission was STS-115 in September 2006. For the upcoming STS-117 mission, Atlantis rolled out to Launch Pad 39-A from Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building on May 15. Atlantis originally was targeted for launch in March, but a hail storm damaged foam insulation on the shuttle's external fuel tank and forced managers to roll the spacecraft back into the Vehicle Assembly Building to make repairs. With the refurbishment of Pad 39-A, this launch will be the first from the pad in four years.

STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and Mission Specialists Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson, John "Danny" Olivas and Clayton Anderson are scheduled to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on June 4.

Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Sunita Williams will return to Earth from the space station aboard Atlantis. The flight will carry Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson to the station. He will return home aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-120.

For more information about the STS-117 crew and mission to the space station, visit:


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