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Crew Closes Payload Doors; Mission Control Eyes Weather



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*Crew Closes Payload Doors; Mission Control Eyes Weather*



The STS-117 crew closed space shuttle Atlantisí payload bay doors this 
morning in preparation for a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. 
Landing, which is slated for 1:55 p.m. EDT, will mark the end of a 
successful mission to the International Space Station.

If flight controllers give STS-117 the go-ahead to land on Orbit 202, 
Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault will fire Atlantisí 
thrusters at 12:50 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida.

Meanwhile at the Mission Control Center in Houston, flight controllers 
and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group continue to 
monitor weather conditions at and around the Shuttle Landing Facility at 
the Florida spaceport. The main concern is thunderstorms in the area.

Chief Astronaut Steve Lindsey is providing additional weather 
information as he flies an aircraft in the vicinity of the landing 
facility.

A second landing opportunity is available today on Orbit 203 if flight 
controllers choose to pass on the first. It calls for a 2:25 p.m. 
deorbit burn and a 3:30 p.m. touchdown in Florida. Opportunities are 
available Friday in Florida and at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Atlantis launched June 8 and arrived at the station 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. If Atlantis lands on 
the first opportunity, Williamsí spaceflight will end at 193 days, 16 
hours and 8 minutes.

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.
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