Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shuttle Atlantis makes beautiful return to space.

NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis made a flawless entry into space this afternoon, launching at 11:15 AM EST and making final entry into orbit at 11:30 AM EST. No serious problems were detected and everything went as expected.

Shuttle Commander Brent Jett and his crew will install a seventeen ton segment of the ISS and will add additional solar panels and batteries. They are also scheduled to make three space walks and will remain in orbit for a planned eleven days.

This is the first time in nearly four years that a segment has been added to the ISS, and the first flight of the shuttle since it was grounded in 2002.

The crew of Atlantis consists of Commander Brent W. Jett Jr., Pilot Christopher J. Ferguson and Mission Specialists Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joseph R. Tanner, Daniel C. Burbank and Steven G. MacLean, from the Canadian Space Agency.

As of February 2003, Space Shuttle Atlantis had flown 26 flights, spent 220.40-days in space, orbited the earth 3,468 times and flown 89,908,732 miles.

NASA Mission Page | Wikipedia Article on Atlantis