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A Green Light For Atlantis To Launch June 8

The crew of STS-117 in their official portrait. From left: Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer Clayton C. Anderson, mission specialists James Reilly II, Steven Swanson, Commander Frederick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and mission specialists Patrick Forrester and John D. Olivas. Image credit: NASA
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Jun 01, 2007
Following the Flight Readiness Review meetings on May 30 and 31 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's senior managers have signed the Certification of Flight Readiness confirming that Space Shuttle Atlantis, her flight crew and payloads are fit to fly. Officials approved June 8 as the scheduled launch date for the STS-117 mission to the International Space Station.

"We had a very good review for the past day and a half," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations. Referring to the repairs on the external tank, Gerstenmaier said proudly, "I don't think I've ever seen an effort done better than was done by the external tank team ... they did a phenomenal job to give us a flight-ready tank to go fly."

"We're good to go," said Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager. "We have no show stoppers ahead of us."

Mike Leinbach, NASA launch director reported that processing at the pad is going extremely well and praised the people who worked on the tank.

"The vehicle looks great out at the pad," said Leinbach. "Team Atlantis is ready to go and look forward to launch next Friday night."

Rick Sturckow will command the mission and Lee Archambault will serve as Atlantis' pilot. Mission Specialists James Reilly, Steven Swanson, John Olivas and Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson round out the crew to deliver the S3/S4 starboard truss segments, batteries and another pair of solar arrays to the space station.

Anderson will replace Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Sunita Williams on station and Williams will return to Earth aboard Atlantis.

Mission STS-117 is the Space Shuttle Program's 21st mission to the International Space Station.

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US Shuttle Atlantis Back On Launch Pad
Washington (AFP) May 15, 2007
The US shuttle Atlantis was back on its launch pad Tuesday preparing to blast off in June to the International Space Station after damage to a fuel tank delayed its launch, space agency NASA said. The shuttle had been due to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in the southeastern state of Florida in March, but was put back in its hangar after a freak hail storm damaged the outer fuel tank that powers its launch.

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