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Atlantis Cleared for Re-Entry


Atlantis Cleared for Re-Entry; Crew Eyes Thursday Landing

Mission Control Houston gave the STS-115 crew good news this morning: 
Mission managers cleared Space Shuttle Atlantis for landing. The first 
available landing opportunity is at 6:21 a.m. EDT (1021 UTC)Thursday at 
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The word came after engineers reviewed heat shield inspections performed 
by the crew. The inspections were conducted to ensure all of Atlantisí 
critical equipment is in good shape.

To get ready for landing, the crew packed up gear and stowed the Ku-Band 
antenna, which is used for most shuttle television transmissions.

Forecasts for Thursday call for acceptable weather at the Florida 
landing site.

Atlantisí first and prime landing opportunity begins with a de-orbit 
burn at 5:14 a.m.(0914 UTC), to start the descent to Florida. A second 
opportunity is available, beginning with a de-orbit burn at 6:50 a.m. 
leading to a landing at 7:57 a.m. in Florida.

The STS-115 mission has resumed the construction of the International 
Space Station. Atlantis delivered the P3/P4 integrated truss to the 
station on Sept. 11. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews used the 
shuttle and station robotic arms to attach the truss to the orbital 
outpost. Then STS-115 astronauts conducted three spacewalks in four days 
to prepare the truss and its solar arrays for operation.

For the latest information on space station activities, please visit: 
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