Atlantis Prepares for Its Last Landing

HOUSTON, May 25 (UPI) — Space shuttle Atlantis and its six-member crew are preparing to return to Earth for the shuttle’s last landing from space.

Shuttle Cmdr. Ken Ham, pilot Tony Antonelli and astronaut Mike Good performed a test of the flight control system Tuesday and a “hot fire” of the reaction control system in preparation for the landing. Astronauts Garrett Reisman, Steve Bowen and Piers Sellers worked on final packing and stowage activities throughout the day.

The shuttle is ending its last mission into space — a 12-day trip to the International Space Station. NASA managers said they will evaluate weather conditions at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida before clearing Atlantis for a landing.

Wednesday’s landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 8:48 a.m. and 10:22 a.m. EDT, NASA said. If Atlantis is unable to land Wednesday, additional opportunities are available at Kennedy Thursday at 9:13 a.m. and 10:48 a.m.

There are also opportunities Friday at Kennedy and at the backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

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