Saturday, June 09, 2007

Atlantis in Orbit

Right on time last night, the Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis(OV-104) lifted off into a beautiful clear sky to become the 250th manned mission to orbit and 118th Shuttle mission. This mission is to add more power to the International Space Station via a 17.5 ton truss and 240ft solar arrays to support further experiments.

For a bit of human interest there is STS-117 crew member Clayton Anderson. He was until recently part of the STS-118 crew. Astronaut Sunita Williams stay aboard the ISS was looking to extend from six months to nine months if this was not done during the Atlantis mission. Which explains the location of Anderson's name on the mission patch. Even with Anderson arriving aboard STS-117, Williams will have set the longest stay by a female astronaut by the time she comes back with the STS-117 crew.

Wake up for the crew is just a few minutes away as I blog this. This day will be spent by the crew closing in on the ISS and doing a post-liftoff inspection of the orbiter to ensure there is no damage from foam separation.

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