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Atlantis Undocks From Space Station


*Atlantis Undocks From Space Station*

Space Shuttle Atlantis fly-aroundImage above: This is a view of the 
Space Shuttle Atlantis as it performs
a fly-around of the space station. Image credit: NASA TV


STS-117ís constructive stay at the International Space Station came to a 
close today when space shuttle Atlantis undocked. The two spacecraft 
parted ways at 1441 UTC as they flew over the Coral Sea northeast of 

After Pilot Lee Archambault backed the orbiter 450 feet from the 
station, he performed a full fly-around to allow crew members to collect 
video and imagery of the station and its newly expanded solar wings. He 
then completed the final separation engine burn at 1628 UTC0

Later in the day, Archambault and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester 
and Steven Swanson will use the shuttle robot arm and the 50-foot long 
Orbiter Boom Sensor System to conduct a late inspection of the thermal 
protection system.

The crew will spend Wednesday preparing for landing. Atlantisí first 
landing opportunity is at 1754 UTC Thursday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

During its stay at the station, which began June 10, the STS-117 crew 
continued the on-orbit construction of the station with the installation 
of the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment.

The crew installed the truss June 11 and conducted four spacewalks to 
activate the S3/S4 and assist in the retraction of solar array on the 
Port 6 truss. 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.
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