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STS-122: Landing Day

Flight Day 14 should be the the last in orbit for the Atlantis crew. The orbiter, with seven astronauts aboard, is due to land today at 9:07AM EST.  NASA reports:

STS-122 Crew Looks to End Mission Today

STS-122 commander Steve Frick will fly Atlantis home today. NASA PHOTO NO: S122-E-010926Four landing opportunities are available for space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-122 crew to return to Earth today. Flight controllers and forecasters continue to monitor the weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Atlantis’ first landing opportunity is at 9:07 a.m. EST on orbit 202. If controllers elect to take it, Commander Steve Frick will perform the deorbit burn to begin the descent to Kennedy. Orbit 203 provides a second opportunity at 10:42 a.m.

The first opportunity for the California base is on Orbit 204 at 12:12 p.m. The final opportunity – the second at Edwards – is on Orbit 205 at 1:47 p.m.

STS-122 arrived at the International Space 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.

STS-122 is the 121st shuttle mission and 24th mission to visit the space station. The next mission, STS-123, is slated to launch in March.

+ View landing ground tracks

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Flight Day 13 videos are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #26 here. Landing blogs here and here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

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