Press Release

Space Shuttle Atlantis to Land in California

By SpaceRef Editor
June 22, 2007
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Space Shuttle Atlantis to Land in California

Update: Mission control has given a go for landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was waved off as the landing site due to continuing weather concerns. After a 2:43 p.m. EDT deorbit burn, Atlanis is targeted to land in California at 3:49 p.m.

Uncooperative weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., forced flight controllers to pass on STS-117’s first landing attempt today. The crew and the Mission Control team have turned their attention to the next orbit, which has opportunities available in Florida and at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Kennedy is the primary site and the next landing opportunity at the Florida spaceport is at 3:55 p.m. EDT. If flight controllers select this option, Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault will perform the deorbit engine burn at 2:50 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida. The Edwards landing opportunity is at 3:49, with the deorbit occurring at 2:43.

Rain showers were the reason for the wave off of the first landing attempt at Kennedy. Flight controllers and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group continue to monitor the weather at both landing facilities. Two more opportunities – 5:23 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. — are available to today at Edwards.

Landing will bring to an end a successful construction mission to the International Space Station. Atlantis launched June 8 and arrived at the station on June 10. While at the orbital outpost, the crew installed the Starboard 3 and 4 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.

STS-117 is the 118th shuttle mission and 21st mission to visit the space station. The next mission, STS-118, is slated to launch in August.

SpaceRef staff editor.