Stories tagged STS-117

Jul
02
2007

Atlantis piggyback ride: back to Florida.
Atlantis piggyback ride: back to Florida.
After its 5.8 million mile journey, the space shuttle Atlantis is being returned home to the Kennedy Space Center atop a modified 747 jetliner. They will arrive today, or if weather conditions are not favorable, Tuesday, July 3.

Mission STS-118 will be in August

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.

Jun
20
2007

Live video from space

Space shuttle detaches from ISS
Space shuttle detaches from ISS
I have been watching NASA TV which is broadcast live via the internet from the International Space Station and the space shuttle, Atlantis. Atlantis detatched from the ISS last night and is now preparing for its landing tomorrow. On board is Suni Williams, who is the new record holder for a long-duration single spaceflight for a woman.

Failure of two ISS computers added tension.

When two computers which controlled life support and space station positioning failed at the same time, the ten astronauts needed to either fix them or abandon the space station. Internation Space Station, June 2007
Internation Space Station, June 2007
An out of position thermal blanket also need to be repaired before landing. In addition to emergencies, the crew installed the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment and conducted four spacewalks to activate the S3/S4 and assist in the retraction of solar array on the Port 6 truss. These large structures may have been what caused the computer glitches.

You can watch, too.

If you have medium high speed internet (mine is 1.5mbps) you can see live video from space. Last night I saw that the Atlantis was passing over the Great Lakes just after sunset so I ran outside to see if I could see them (it wasn't dark enough). Both the Atlantis and the space station will be visible tonight as they pass overhead. The NASA TV launch page is here. I recommend the Windows Media viewer which allows full screen viewing.

STS-117 solar panels
STS-117 solar panels
Atlantis' crew installed a new set of solar arrays on the starboard side of the International Space Station. More photos can be seen in the STS-117 mission photo gallery.