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Crew Gets Ready for Thursday Landing


*Crew Gets Ready for Thursday Landing*

The seven STS-117 astronauts are preparing for their return home. They 
are stowing equipment and checking out Space Shuttle Atlantisí systems.

Atlantis is scheduled to touch down Thursday at 1:55 p.m. EDT at Kennedy 
Space Center, Fla. A second landing opportunity for KSC is available at 
3:30 p.m. EDT. Weather forecasts Thursday afternoon call for a 
possibility of thunder showers in the area.

This morning, Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault test 
fired Atlantis' reaction control jets in preparation for the deorbit 
burn that will begin the descent to Florida. The burn for the first 
landing opportunity is slated to take place at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

At 3:03 p.m. today, crew members will talk with reporters from NBC News, 
ABC News and CNN Live. The interviews will be aired live on NASA TV.

Atlantis left the International Space Station on Tuesday. During its 
stay at the station, which began June 10, the STS-117 crew continued the 
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 a 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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