Atlantis is on the way home

November 25, 2009 10:03 by scibuff

Today at 09:53 GMT the Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the Harmony Node of the International Space Station (ISS) after 6 days, 17 hours and 2 minutes. The undocking occurred just northeast of Indonesia, while both the station and the shuttle were in the dark of the Earth’s shadow (as it usually is the case for undocking).

Preparations for undocking are on the way as the ISS flies over the Mediterranean Sea - Source: NASA TV

Preparations for undocking are on the way as the ISS flies over the Mediterranean Sea - Source: NASA TV

Yesterday, the STS-129 and Expedition 21 crew members parted ways with a change of command and farewell ceremony, where Expedition 21 Commander Frank De Winne handed over the command of the International Space Station to NASA’s astronaut Jeff Williams (@Astro_Jeff). After the farewell ceremony, the crews closed the hatches that divide the two spacecraft at 18:12 GMT.

The STS-129 and Expedition 21 crew members bid farewell. Photo credit: NASA TV

The STS-129 and Expedition 21 crew members bid farewell. Photo credit: NASA TV

After 87 days spent in the complex, Expedition 20 and 21 Flight engineer Nicole Stott (@Astro_Nicole), officially, item number 914, became the last astronaut who used the Space Shuttle for a lift to or from the station (as a member of the station’s Expedition crew). If Atlantis lands as scheduled, she will have spent 91 days in space.

Space Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) is scheduled to execute the deorbit burn at 13:37 GMT on Friday, leading to landing at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) runway 33 at 14:44 GMT.

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