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STS-115 MCC Status Report #17



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

NASA NEWS

12:30 p.m. CDT Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

	09.17.06
STATUS REPORT: STS-115-17

STS-115 MCC Status Report #17

The Space Shuttle Atlantis left a space station today markedly different 
than the one to which it docked less than a week ago.

Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 7:50 a.m. CDT, 
completing six days, two hours and two minutes of joint operations with 
the station crew. As the shuttle departs, a new station crew is 
preparing to launch to the complex tonight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, 
Kazakhstan.

Atlantis left the station with a new, second pair of 240-foot solar 
wings, attached to a new 17.5-ton section of truss with batteries, 
electronics and a giant rotating joint. The new solar arrays eventually 
will double the station's onboard power when their electrical systems 
are brought online during the next shuttle flight, planned for launch in 
December.

Atlantis is now aiming for a 4:57 a.m. CDT Wednesday landing at the 
Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Meanwhile, the station's Expedition 14 crew -- Commander and NASA 
Science Officer Michael Lopez-Alegria, Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin 
and spaceflight participant Anoushheh Ansari -- are set to launch in 
their Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft from Baikonur at 11:09 p.m. CDT. 
Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will begin a six-month stay aboard the station 
when they dock to the complex on Wednesday. Ansari is visiting the 
station for eight days under a commercial agreement with the Russian 
Federal Space Agency.

NASA TV coverage of the Expedition 14 launch begins at 10:30 p.m. CDT.

After undocking, Atlantis' crew -- Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris 
Ferguson and Mission Specialists Dan Burbank, Joe Tanner, Heide 
Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve MacLean -- got a breath-taking view of the 
station as the shuttle circled the complex. During their stay at the 
station, the shuttle crew conducted three spacewalks in four days to 
prepare the new components for operation.

As Atlantis performed a full fly-around of the station, the shuttle crew 
took photographs and video of the complex's new T-shaped solar array 
configuration. The station's truss now stretches 179 feet.

In addition to the new truss section and its arrays, the astronauts 
transferred 800 pounds of hardware and 1,043 pounds of water to the 
station in exchange for 1,084 pounds of returning hardware. They also 
placed about 200 pounds of launch locks, restraints and other unneeded 
hardware on ISS Progress 21 for disposal.

The shuttle astronauts spent five days, 21 hours and 57 minutes with 
hatches open to the station working with the station's Expedition 13 
crew -- Commander Pavel Vinogradov, and Flight Engineers Jeff Williams 
and Thomas Reiter. The hatches were shut for Atlantis' undoccking at 
5:27 a.m. CDT. Vinogradov, Williams and Ansari will land in a Soyuz 
spacecraft in Kazakhstan Sept. 29. Vinogradov and Williams have been in 
orbit since March.

On Monday, the shuttle crew will use the ship’s robotic arm to grapple 
the boom sensor system once more to conduct a final inspection of the 
heat shielding on Atlantis’ wings and nose cap. The additional late 
inspecting ensures the areas still are in good shape for entry into the 
atmosphere and landing.

Atlantis' crew begins their sleep period at 2:15 p.m. CDT and will 
awaken at 10:15 p.m. CDT. The next STS-115 mission status report will be 
issued following crew wakeup, or earlier if events warrant.


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