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STS117-S-032 (8 June 2007) --- Framed here by branches, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and its seven-member STS-117 crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A occurred at 7:38 p.m. (EDT) on June 8, 2007. Onboard are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Lee Archambault, pilot; Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Steven Swanson and Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the station. Atlantis will dock with the orbital outpost 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-032

STS117-S-032 (8 June 2007) --- Framed here by branches, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and its seven-member STS-117 crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A occurred at 7:38 p.m. (EDT) on June 8, 2007. Onboard are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Lee Archambault, pilot; Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Steven Swanson and Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the station. Atlantis will dock with the orbital outpost 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-032

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STS117-S-032 (8 June 2007) --- Framed here by branches, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and its seven-member STS-117 crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A occurred at 7:38 p.m. (EDT) on June 8, 2007. Onboard are astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Lee Archambault, pilot; Jim Reilly, Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Steven Swanson and Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the station. Atlantis will dock with the orbital outpost 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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