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  STS-117: Atlantis' return from space

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Author Topic:   STS-117: Atlantis' return from space
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first landing opportunity available for Atlantis and the STS-117 crew is on Orbit 202, which calls for the deorbit burn to occur 12:50 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 21 with a 1:55 p.m. touchdown. The final opportunity of the day is on the next orbit. It begins with the deorbit burn at 2:25 p.m. and ends with a 3:30 p.m. landing.

Weather forecasts call for a possibility of thunder showers in the area. Flight controllers and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group will continue to monitor the weather at Kennedy.

The backup landing sites at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., will not be considered on Thursday. If weather prevents a Kennedy landing Thursday, NASA will activate the backup landing sites for Friday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis' payload bay doors have been closed and the crew has begun transitioning to the software that will control reentry and landing.

Weather conditions are still being watched closely at Kennedy Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Due to clouds and rain in the vicinity of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, the first opportunity for Atlantis to land today has been waved off. The next chance will come with a deorbit burn at 2:25 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poor weather conditions in Florida has resulted in the second and final landing opportunity of today to be canceled. The crew will spend another day in orbit, making STS-117 the longest mission to date for orbiter Atlantis.

Friday's landing opportunities will be at 2:16 p.m. and 3:51 p.m. EDT at Kennedy with two additional landing opportunities at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a result of forecasts for similar poor weather conditions at Kennedy and the potential for high winds at Edwards later in the day on Friday, ground controllers have called for Atlantis to make a one minute-long, 11 foot per second engine firing, giving the crew an earlier landing opportunity at Edwards Air Force Base then their current orbit allows.

If the weather does not look good for a landing at KSC tomorrow, the intention is to touchdown in California.

Revised landing times for KSC and EDW will be available soon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2007 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The revised landing times for Friday are as follows:

2:18 p.m. EDT at Kennedy
3:49 p.m. EDT at Edwards
3:54 p.m. EDT at Kennedy
5:24 p.m. EDT at Edwards
6:59 p.m. EDT at Edwards

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis’ first landing opportunity today is at 2:18 p.m. EDT on orbit 218. If controllers elect to take it, STS-117 commander Rick Sturckow will perform the deorbit burn at 1:12 p.m. to begin the descent to Kennedy. Orbit 219 provides opportunities at both landing sites — a 3:49 p.m. landing at Edwards and a 3:55 p.m. landing at Kennedy.

The second opportunity for the California base is on Orbit 220. The deorbit burn would occur at 4:18 p.m. with the landing at 5:23 p.m. The final opportunity is on Orbit 221 and it calls for the deorbit burn to occur at 5:56 p.m. with the landing at 6:59 p.m.

Today’s weather forecast for Kennedy calls for the threat of thunderstorms in the area and high winds are a possibility at Edwards.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once again Atlantis' payload bay doors have been closed and the crew has configured the orbiter for reentry and landing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight controllers have just informed the crew on Atlantis that a reentry and landing on orbit 218 at the Kennedy Space Center has been waved off.

"The showers are not pushing out of the circle at KSC like we were hoping. We're going to wave off this rev," radioed capcom Tony Antonelli to STS-117 commander Rick "CJ" Sturckow.

Orbit 219 provides opportunities at both landing sites — a 3:49 p.m. landing at Edwards and a 3:55 p.m. landing at Kennedy.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis will be landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The deorbit burn will come at 2:43 p.m. EDT for a touchdown on runway 22 at 3:49 p.m.

Rain in the vicinity of Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility caused both of today's Florida attempts to be waved off.

After landing at Edwards, a ferry flight to bring Atlantis back to Kennedy for processing could take place after about 7 days.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis successfully completed its deorbit burn while orbiting 220 miles above the Indian Ocean, slowing its velocity by 200 mph, beginning the descent for landing at 3:49 p.m. EDT at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Aztecdoug
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posted 06-22-2007 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The twin sonic booms just passed by Santa Ana. They are almost home...

------------------
Kind Regards

Douglas Henry

Enjoy yourself and have fun.... it is only a hobby!
http://home.earthlink.net/~aztecdoug/

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Touchdown! Space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew have landed on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in California, touching down at 3:49 p.m. EDT.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 06-22-2007 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Suni's back.

Moonpaws
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posted 06-22-2007 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone record the landing from MSNBC site or other? I would love to get a copy of this.

LadyCosmos
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posted 06-22-2007 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyCosmos   Click Here to Email LadyCosmos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great Landing! My first direct live shuttle return. Watching NASA TV on the web since 3 hours...

LadyCosmos

Greggy_D
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posted 06-22-2007 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looked like a beautiful day there. Anyone else catch the looping audio for a few minutes? That was getting annoying.

Lunatiki
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posted 06-22-2007 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunatiki   Click Here to Email Lunatiki     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did I hear someone mention on MSNBC something about a computer failure that caused some concern?

CJC
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posted 06-22-2007 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CJC   Click Here to Email CJC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic touchdown!

Welcome home to the Atlantis and it's crew.

CJC

Lunar rock nut
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posted 06-22-2007 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard the audio also. Thought the view from the HUD was cool.

Terry

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Main gear touchdown was at 3:49:38 p.m. EDT for a mission elapsed time (MET) of 13 days, 20 hours, 11 minutes, 34 seconds.

Nose gear touchdown was at 3:49:49 p.m. EDT or 13 days, 20 hours, 11 minutes, 45 seconds.

Wheels stop came at 3:50:48 p.m. EDT or 13 days, 20 hours, 12 minutes, 44 seconds.

Launched on June 8, Atlantis orbited the Earth 219 times and traveled 5.8 million miles.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About an hour after touchdown, the STS-117 crew (without Suni Williams) made the traditional post-flight walk-around and inspection of the orbiter. Before departing the runway, each astronaut addressed the camera.

Commander Rick "CJ" Sturckow:

quote:
Okay, well thank you very much, it's great to be back here in Houston... er, Edwards, California. It's just great to back on planet Earth right now. And we had a wonderful mission. I would like to thank, especially, our lead flight director Kelly Beck and all the great folks working in Mission Control. There were a lot of challenges on this mission and they were all surmounted and all the solutions worked well and we had a very successful flight. So thanks a lot to everybody in Houston.
Pilot Lee "BRU" Archambault:
quote:
It's great to be here at Edwards. It's a beautiful day obviously and it's a great place to land the shuttle. We're very proud that the mission is complete and we got the mission done. We brought the orbiter back in great shape. We're here safe and sound at Edwards and I just want to thank everybody, not only here at Edwards for covering us today, catching our orbiter, but also folks back at KSC as well as JSC who helped make STS-117 a very successful mission. Thank you very much!
Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester:
quote:
I just wanted to say how great it was to be here at Edwards, to come back from this mission that we flew. Back when I was a Captain I was stationed here, I used to come down every time the shuttle would land here, I never thought that maybe I might actually be one that landed here. We appreciate all the great support that we got back in Houston, those that stood up at KSC, and of course those when we arrived here. So we thank you very much.
Mission Specialist Steven "Swanny" Swanson:
quote:
I would just to thank all the folks around NASA that made this mission a success. Thanks to all my friends and family for giving me lots of support during the mission. Thank you.
Mission Specialist John "Danny" Olivas:
quote:
I would like to thank the entire NASA family and all the support folks who gave us the opportunity to have a very successful STS-117 mission, as well as the Expedition 15, it was a pleasure to be part of that mission and have the success that we did. So, thank you.
Mission Specialist James "JR" Reilly:
quote:
I would like to say thanks for having us here in California, and I just wanted to say that I am really proud to be part of team, both on orbit and on the ground, we accomplished a great mission. We got everything that we needed done done, and we were even able to add a few things. It was really a great mission all around for us and I am really proud to be part of the team with this guys behind us. Thanks again and I appreciate your interest in all we do.
As a long duration crew member, Suni Williams remained in the care of flight surgeons post-landing but is expected to return to Houston with the crew and participate in the public homecoming celebration scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Ellington Field.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-22-2007 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

ejectr
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posted 06-22-2007 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo my son took. He's stationed at Edwards.


Edited by ejectr

Lou Chinal
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posted 06-22-2007 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All-
Very nice group of photos! I'm jealous.
-Lou

OV-105
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posted 06-23-2007 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok I did see it right. Atlantis did land on one side then the other (first pic). The secound pic is great you can see the drag chute starting its deploy.

kimmern123
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posted 06-23-2007 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend of mine mentioned that pilots are actually instructed to touch down with the right landing gear a tad before the left. Does anyone know what the reason for that is?

Anyway, a great landing by CJ marking the end of a very successfull flight. Kind of sad to think that Atlantis only got two more launches and landings before retirement...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2007 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kimmern123:
Kind of sad to think that Atlantis only got two more launches and landings before retirement...
Perhaps, or perhaps not: there are reportedly some studies going on within NASA about whether to schedule Atlantis beyond 2008 for one or more flights.

ejectr
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posted 06-23-2007 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kimmern123:
A friend of mine mentioned that pilots are actually instructed to touch down with the right landing gear a tad before the left. Does anyone know what the reason for that is?

Actually, you land on the wheel of whichever side the crosswind is coming from because that wing is down making its wheel lower to the ground than the other wing. When you land in a crosswind, you keep the wing on the side of the crosswind down with the aileron so the wind doesn't get under the wing and flip you up. That makes the aircraft want to turn in that direction and counters the affect of the wind blowing you to the opposite side of the runway that the wind is coming from. To stop the aircraft from wanting to turn, you cross control with opposite rudder to counter act the wing down turning tendency therefore keeping the nose pointed straight down the runway so you don't land sideways in what is called a "crab" angle.

Edited by ejectr

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