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Atlantis Astronauts Ready After Long Wait

The STS-117 crew - Lee Archambault is third from left.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (UPI) Jun 04, 2007
Astronauts set to take off from Florida on the shuttle Atlantis are determined to remember the mission, because it could be the last of their careers. Lee Archambault, a 20-year Air Force test pilot and longtime astronaut, has yet to fly into space, The Miami Herald reported. If all goes smoothly this week Archambault will experience his first journey into space.

Archambault, who began training in 1998, told the Herald it is not uncommon for astronauts to train for many years before embarking on a space mission. Some only get to go into space once in their whole lives.

Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who was disgraced in February after a publicized love triangle with another astronaut, reportedly trained for 10 years before stepping aboard the Discovery last summer.

"I'll probably take a little extra time to look back, from that particular vantage point, at the Earth and enjoy that," said Patrick Forrester, 50, one of the three astronauts to accompany Archambault on the Atlantis.

earlier related report
International Space Station Status Report: SS07-30
Houston TX (SPX) Jun 3 - The Expedition 15 crew completed the first of three planned spacewalks this week and prepared for the upcoming arrival of space shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov stepped outside the station and installed five additional debris protection panels on the conical section of the Zvezda Service Module, the area between its large and small diameters. The aluminum debris protection panels are designed to shield the module from micro-meteoroids.

Also during the spacewalk, the cosmonauts relocated a Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna cable. The cosmonauts moved the GPS cable to assist the rendezvous and docking of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle later this year.

On June 6, Yurchikhin and Kotov are set to wear Russian spacesuits again and install 12 additional protection panels on Zvezda. They also will install a section of an Ethernet cable on the Zarya module and a Russian experiment called Biorisk on the Pirs Docking Compartment.

During the second spacewalk, Flight Engineer Suni Williams will remain aboard the station as the spacewalk choreographer, as she did this week, advising and keeping the spacewalkers on schedule.

Additionally this week, Williams packed science payload and personal items she will bring with her when she returns to Earth at the end of the upcoming STS-117 shuttle mission, scheduled for launch Friday, June 8 at 7:38 p.m. EDT.

Williams collected her fifth and final set of blood and urine samples for the Nutritional Status Assessment, which measures physiological changes in the human body during spaceflight. The samples are stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius in the Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer. The experiment will help researchers understand bone metabolism, oxidative damage, vitamin and mineral status and hormonal changes and how they relate to stress, bone and muscle metabolism. The results should provide a better understanding of what happens physiologically, and when it happens, to crew members on long-duration space missions.

earlier related report
ISS prepares for a spacewalk and visitors
Houston TX June 2 (UPI) - International Space Station cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov spent much of Monday preparing for their second spacewalk in eight days.

The two Russians are to conduct the spacewalk Wednesday to install cable and additional debris panels, as well as deploying a scientific experiment. Yurchikhin and Kotov completed their first spacewalk last Wednesday.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration controllers in Houston said Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew are to lift off Friday and arrive at the space station Sunday. Atlantis will be delivering the station's S3/S4 truss segment, a new set of starboard solar arrays and batteries.

Shuttle crew member Clayton Anderson is to replace Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Suni Williams, who is to return to Earth aboard Atlantis.

Source: United Press International

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NASA Says June 8 Shuttle Launch Good To Go
Washington (AFP) May 31, 2007
NASA said Thursday that on June 8 it would attempt to launch the US shuttle Atlantis to the orbiting International Space Station, a mission that has been delayed since March due to fuel tank damage. "We're good to go," shuttle program director Wayne Hale told reporters after he met with top officials from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.







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