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STS-122: Flight Day 11

Sunday will see the hatches closed between Atlantis and the ISS, with undocking scheduled for this afternoon. Dan Tani, who rolled off Expedition 16 last week, will return home as part of the STS-122 crew. NASA reports:

STS-122 Astronauts Prepare to Leave Station

View of the International Space Station from the space shuttle Atlantis. NASA PHOTO NO: S122-E-008104

The STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews are scheduled to bid one another farewell before the hatches close at 12:15 p.m. EST between space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station. Atlantis is slated to undock at 4:27 a.m. Monday.

Prior to hatch closure, the two crews will continue outfitting racks and systems inside Columbus.

STS-122 arrived at the station Feb. 9, delivering the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the station. The crews installed Columbus Feb. 11 and conducted three spacewalks to prepare Columbus for its scientific work. They also replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station’s P1 truss.

In addition, Atlantis delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, an ESA astronaut. He replaced astronaut Daniel Tani, who is returning to Earth aboard Atlantis.

The orbiter is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Wednesday.

Flight Day 10 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #20 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.