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Atlantis Arrives at Space Station,Joint Operations to Begin Soon


*Atlantis Arrives at Space Station, Joint Operations to Begin Soon*

Image above: A video camera aboard the International Space Station captured
this image of a plume surrounding Atlantis as it fired its engines to 
refine its
approach to the station. Image credit: NASA TV


+ View Launch Day Photo Gallery 
+ View Launch Day Video Gallery 

Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew arrived at the International 
Space Station at 3:36 p.m. EDT, delivering a new truss segment and crew 
member to the orbital outpost.

The STS-117 astronauts and the station’s Expedition 15 crew will conduct 
pressure and leak checks before the hatches between the spacecraft open. 
After the crews greet each other, they will quickly begin joint operations.

One of the first major tasks is the station crew rotation. STS-117 
Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson will switch places with Expedition 
15 Flight Engineer Suni Williams, who will be wrapping up a six-month 
tour of duty on the station. Anderson is scheduled to stay on the 
station until he returns to Earth with STS-120 later this year.

Anderson will officially become a member of Expedition 15 when his 
custom-made seat liner is swapped out with Williams’ in the Soyuz 
spacecraft docked to the station.

The crews will prepare for Monday’s installation of the Starboard 3 and 
4 (S3/S4) truss segment and the first of three scheduled STS-117 
spacewalks. The crews will use the shuttle robotic arm to lift the S3/S4 
out of Atlantis’ payload bay and hand it off to the station arm.

The S3/S4, which contains a new set of solar arrays, is scheduled to be 
attached to the station at 11:08 a.m. Monday. Then, STS-117 Mission 
Specialists John “Danny” Olivas and Jim Reilly will make connections 
between the station and the new truss segment during the spacewalk, 
which is set to kick off at 2:53 p.m.

About an hour before docking, Sturckow and Archambault guided the 
shuttle through a back-flip maneuver that allowed the Expedition 15 crew 
to photograph the shuttle’s protective heat-resistant tiles. The imagery 
will be sent to engineers on Earth for analysis.

STS-117 is the 21st shuttle mission to visit the station. Atlantis 
scheduled to undock June 17 and return to Earth on the 19th.

*STS-117 Mission*
+ The Crew 

+ The Mission 

+ The Integrated Truss Structure 

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