jueves, junio 21, 2007

El Atlantis aterriza en la entrada del verano

El transbordador espacial está programado para aterrizar hoy 21 de junio, día de la entrada del verano boreal, que hace su llegada a las 13.06, hora del centro de México. Día singularmente importante en muchas tradiciones. Espero hacer unos comentarios ya después del aterrizaje.

Copio de Space.com :

Mission Atlantis: Shuttle Astronauts to Land Today
By Tariq Malik
Staff Writer
posted: 21 June 2007
7:00 a.m. ET

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The seven-astronaut crew of NASA's shuttle Atlantis is hoping to beat the weather to make a Florida landing today after a successful construction flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

Commanded by veteran spaceflyer Rick Sturckow, Atlantis' STS-117 crew is due land at 1:55 p.m. EDT (1755 GMT) here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to close a busy mission to help power up the ISS.

"We'll be ready tomorrow if the weather cooperates," Sturckow told Mission Control late Wednesday.

Afternoon thunderstorms around NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility here at KSC, as well as thick clouds, may prevent Atlantis from landing during either of two windows today. But the turbulent weather is typical for the shuttle landing site this time of year, NASA has said.

"No landing is easy with weather, and we're used to it," said Norm Knight, NASA's lead entry flight director. "I'm always optimistic about it."

Sturckow and his crewmates are completing a 13-day mission to the ISS, where the astronauts installed a pair new starboard solar arrays and trusses, stow an older solar wing and swap out one member of the outpost's three-person Expedition 15 crew. They also helped the station's crew endure, and ultimately win over, a major computer meltdown before swapping out one of the orbital laboratory's astronauts.

The Atlantis crew undocked from the space station on Tuesday and has two opportunities to return to Earth today. In addition to a 1:55 p.m. EDT touchdown, the shuttle could fire its engines a bit later for a 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) landing before standing down for the day, Knight said.

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