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Atlantis Lands in California


*Atlantis Lands in California*

Space shuttle Atlantis descended to a smooth landing at Edwards Air 
Force Base, Calif., concluding a successful assembly mission to the 
International Space Station. With Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee 
Archambault at the controls, Atlantis landed at 3:49 p.m. EDT.

The STS-117 crew began its mission June 8 and arrived at the station 
June 10. They quickly began work to install the Starboard 3 and 4 
(S3/S4) truss structure to the outpost and retracted a set of arrays on 
the Port 6 (P6) truss. The (S3/S4) contains a new set of solar arrays 
that increases station power-generation capabilities. The P6 will be 
relocated during a future assembly mission.

Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, John “Danny” Olivas, Jim Reilly 
and Steven Swanson conducted a total of four spacewalks to activate the 
S3/S4 and to retract the P6 arrays. During the third spacewalk, Olivas 
repaired an out of position thermal blanket on the left orbital 
maneuvering system pod.

Landing also marked the end of a record-setting spaceflight by Mission 
Specialist Suni Williams. She broke the record for the longest 
spaceflight by a woman early in the morning on June 16.

Williams’ journey began in December with the launch of STS-116. She 
lived on the space station for six months before switching places on the 
STS-117 crew with Clayton Anderson, who is now a flight engineer on the 
station. When Atlantis landed, she had accumulated 194 days, 18 hours 
and 58 minutes during her spaceflight.

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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