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Controllers Wave Off First Landing Attempt,Turn Hopes to Next Orbit


*Controllers Wave Off First Landing Attempt, Turn Hopes to Next Orbit*

Image above: Flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston assess
conditions for Atlantis' landing. Image credit: NASA TV

Uncooperative weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., forced flight 
controllers to pass on STS-117s first landing attempt today. The crew 
and the Mission Control team have turned their attention to the next 
orbit, which has opportunities available in Florida and at Edwards Air 
Force Base, Calif.

Kennedy is the primary site and the next landing opportunity at the 
Florida spaceport is at 3:55 p.m. EDT. If flight controllers select this 
option, Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault will perform 
the deorbit engine burn at 2:50 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida. 
The Edwards landing opportunity is at 3:49, with the deorbit occurring 
at 2:43.

Rain showers were the reason for the wave off of the first landing 
attempt at Kennedy. Flight controllers and forecasters with the 
Spaceflight Meteorology Group continue to monitor the weather at both 
landing facilities. Two more opportunities  5:23 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. -- 
are available to today at Edwards.

Landing will bring to an end a successful construction mission to the 
International Space Station. Atlantis launched June 8 and arrived at the 
station on 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.

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.

+ Landing Blog 

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