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NASA Targets June Launch for Space Shuttle Atlantis



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> April 10, 2007
>
> Allard Beutel 
> Headquarters, Washington 
> 202-358-4769
>
> Kyle Herring 
> Johnson Space Center, Houston 
> 281-483-5111
>
>
> NASA TARGETS JUNE LAUNCH FOR SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS
>
> WASHINGTON - NASA is targeting June 8 as the next possible launch 
> opportunity for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-117 mission to the 
> International Space Station. 
>
> Tuesday's decision by agency management followed a meeting that 
> reviewed the progress in repairing insulating foam on the shuttle's 
> external fuel tank, which was damaged during a sudden hail storm Feb. 
> 26 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. That damage required 
> engineers to repair approximately 2,660 sites on the tank. 
>
> The meeting also included an assessment of using the repaired external 
> tank for the STS-117 mission versus swapping to one that arrived last 
> week from the manufacturing plant in New Orleans. Managers decided to 
> finish repairs to Atlantis' current tank and use it for STS-117. The 
> tank that arrived Friday will be prepared for space shuttle 
> Endeavour's STS-118 mission to the space station and now is targeted 
> for launch in August. 
>
> "The workforce has done an amazing job of assessing and repairing the 
> tank so far, but the sheer volume of repairs dictates moving the 
> launch target to June," said Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne 
> Hale. 
>
> June 8 is the opening of the next available launch window for Atlantis 
> to go to the station. STS-117 Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee 
> Archambault and mission specialists Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, 
> Steven Swanson and John "Danny" Olivas will continue training at 
> NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. During the 11-day mission, the 
> astronauts will work with the station crew and ground teams to 
> install a new, girder-like truss segment, unfold a new set of solar 
> arrays and retract one array on the starboard side of the station. 
>
> For more information about the STS-117 crew and mission, visit: 
>
> http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
>
> 	
> -end-
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