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STS117-S-006 (8 June 2007) --- After suiting up, the STS-117 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan, which will take them to launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. On the right (front to back) are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Steven Swanson, Clayton Anderson and Jim Reilly (center back), all mission specialists. On the left (front to back) are astronauts Lee Archambault, pilot; Patrick Forrester and John "Danny" Olivas, both mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. Atlantis will link up with the International Space Station on Sunday, June 10, to begin a joint mission that will increase the complex's power generation capability. Using the shuttle and station robotic arms and conducting three scheduled spacewalks, the astronauts will install another set of giant solar array wings on the station and retract another array, preparing it for a future move. STS117-S-006

STS117-S-006 (8 June 2007) --- After suiting up, the STS-117 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan, which will take them to launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. On the right (front to back) are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Steven Swanson, Clayton Anderson and Jim Reilly (center back), all mission specialists. On the left (front to back) are astronauts Lee Archambault, pilot; Patrick Forrester and John "Danny" Olivas, both mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. Atlantis will link up with the International Space Station on Sunday, June 10, to begin a joint mission that will increase the complex's power generation capability. Using the shuttle and station robotic arms and conducting three scheduled spacewalks, the astronauts will install another set of giant solar array wings on the station and retract another array, preparing it for a future move. STS117-S-006

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STS117-S-006 (8 June 2007) --- After suiting up, the STS-117 crewmembers exit the Operations and Checkout Building to board the Astrovan, which will take them to launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. On the right (front to back) are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Steven Swanson, Clayton Anderson and Jim Reilly (center back), all mission specialists. On the left (front to back) are astronauts Lee Archambault, pilot; Patrick Forrester and John "Danny" Olivas, both mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. Atlantis will link up with the International Space Station on Sunday, June 10, to begin a joint mission that will increase the complex's power generation capability. Using the shuttle and station robotic arms and conducting three scheduled spacewalks, the astronauts will install another set of giant solar array wings on the station and retract another array, preparing it for a future move.

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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08/06/2007
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