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NASA's Shuttle Atlantis Begins Mission to the Space Station



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

> June 8, 2007
>
> John Yembrick
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-0602
>
> Tracy Young
> Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
> 321-867-2468
>
>
>
> NASA'S SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BEGINS MISSION TO THE SPACE STATION
>
> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The space shuttle Atlantis and its 
> seven-member crew lifted off Friday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center 
> at 7:38 p.m. EDT to continue construction of the International Space 
> Station. 
>
> Shortly before launch, on behalf of the entire crew, Atlantis' 
> Commander Rick Sturckow thanked the teams that help make this launch 
> possible, and then added, "See you in a couple of weeks."
>
> During the 11-day mission, designated STS-117, the crew will add a new 
> structural component to the station, deploy a new set of solar arrays 
> and retract an existing array. Similar construction work was 
> conducted on the previous two shuttle missions.
>
> The mission will deliver and install the 17.5 ton S3/S4 truss 
> segments. This latest addition to the station's backbone will extend 
> the right side of the truss and includes a new set of solar arrays. 
> When unfolded, the 240-foot arrays provide additional power to the 
> station in preparation for the arrival of new science modules from 
> the European and Japanese space agencies. The crew also will retract 
> a solar array to allow for the rotation of the new arrays to track 
> the sun.
>
> The station's newest resident also is traveling aboard Atlantis. 
> Astronaut Clayton Anderson will join the Expedition 15 crew. Sunita 
> Williams, who has been aboard the station since December, will return 
> to Earth with the Atlantis crew. Anderson is scheduled to return to 
> Earth on space shuttle Discovery's STS-120 mission in October. 
>
> Atlantis' crew is Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and mission 
> specialists Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson, John "Danny" Olivas, 
> Jim Reilly and Anderson. 
>
> 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 off the pad to make repairs.
>
> For the latest information about the STS-117 mission and its crew, 
> visit: 
>
> http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
>
> 	
> -end-
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