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The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-115
Launch: Sept. 9, 2006
Time: 11:15 a.m. EDT (1515 GMT)
Site: Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Sept. 21 @ 6:21 a.m. EDT (1021 GMT)
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
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The Crew




Veteran shuttle commander Brent Jett leads a six-person crew launching aboard Atlantis for the STS-115 mission.

Crew Quick-Look

CDR: Brent Jett

PLT: Chris Ferguson

MS 1: Joe. Tanner

MS 2: Dan Burbank

MS 3: Heide Piper

MS 4: Steve MacLean

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Atlantis docks with station
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: September 11, 2006

Commander Brent Jett guided the shuttle Atlantis to a gentle docking with the international space station today after a spectacular end-over-end flip across Africa, Italy and the Balkans to let the lab crew photograph the spaceplane's heat shield.

While the rotational pitch maneuver is a now-standard part of every post-Columbia flight, the lighting today was ideal and video beamed down from the space station provided crystal clear views of the orbiter as it slowly pirouetted some 600 feet below against the backdrop of northern Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: ATLANTIS WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DOCKING REPLAY FROM CAMERA ON SHUTTLE ARM PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS DOCKS TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS' BREATH-TAKING FLIP MANEUVER PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S CAMCORDER FOOTAGE OF EXTERNAL TANK PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING TRUSS UNBERTHING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION PREVIEWING THE DOCKING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF PAYLOAD BAY CONFIGURATION PLAY
MORE: STS-115 VIDEO COVERAGE
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The smooth flight of the shuttle and the seemingly sedate passage across the Earth below belied the orbiter's five-mile-per second velocity, its open payload bay showing the massive 35,000-pound solar array truss that will be attached to the station Tuesday.

The shuttle's underbelly looked pristine, but engineers will have to wait for the station crew to downlink high resolution digital still images to get the clarity needed to assess the health of the tiles on the belly of the shuttle.

After completing the RPM, Jett guided Atlantis in a slow loop up to a point about 400 feet directly in front of the station with the shuttle's nose pointing toward deep space and its open payload bay toward the lab complex.

From there, flying Atlantis from the aft flight deck, Jett manually guided the shuttle to a docking at 6:48 a.m. as the two spacecraft sailed 220 miles above the south Pacific Ocean west of Chile. Hatch opening was expected about an hour later.

For most shuttle flights, docking would be the highlight of the day. But for Atlantis' crew, there will be no time for celebration. Dan Burbank will use the shuttle's robot arm later this morning to pull the $372 million P3/P4 solar array truss from Atlantis' cargo bay.

After maneuvering the 45-foot-long truss to a point out over the left wing of the shuttle, Burbank plans to hand it off to Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean, operating the station's more powerful Canadarm 2 space crane.

Canadarm 2, anchored to work site 7 on the left end of the station's unfinished solar array truss, will hold the new P3/P4 truss segments in place overnight before installation Tuesday.

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON TANK'S PERFORMANCE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: TANK'S ONBOARD CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING DIAL-UP | BROADBAND

VIDEO: LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! PLAY
VIDEO: SHEDDING FOAM MAY HAVE HIT ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: ONBOARD VIEW OF EXTERNAL TANK SEPARATION PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: STATION CREW TOLD VISITORS EN ROUTE PLAY
VIDEO: HOUSTON RADIOS DEBRIS REPORT TO CREW PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE DIAL-UP | BROADBAND
VIDEO: QUICK-LOOK BRIEFING ON DEBRIS DIAL-UP | BROADBAND

LAUNCH REPLAYS:
VIDEO: BEACH MOUND TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: CAMERA IN FRONT OF PAD PLAY
VIDEO: BANANA CREEK VIEWING SITE PLAY
VIDEO: VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: PAD 39B SIDE PERIMETER PLAY
VIDEO: PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: PLAYALINDA BEACH ZOOM PLAY
VIDEO: UCS 23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: UCS 11 TRACKER PLAY

VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST 4 STEVE MACLEAN BOARDS ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST 3 HEIDE PIPER BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST 2 DAN BURBANK BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST 1 JOE TANNER BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT CHRIS FERGUSON BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER BRENT JETT BOARDS PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS EMERGE FROM CREW QUARTERS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW SUITS UP FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE PLAY
VIDEO: FINAL INSPECTION TEAM CHECKS ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS READY FOR SECOND LAUNCH TRY PLAY
MORE: STS-115 VIDEO COVERAGE
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STS-115 patch
The official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.
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