Space Shuttle Atlantis Returns Home After Its Final Planned Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Atlantis and six astronauts
ended a 12-day journey of more than 4.8 million miles with an 8:48
a.m. EDT landing Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The third of five shuttle missions planned for 2010, this was the last
scheduled flight for Atlantis. The mission, designated STS-132,
delivered the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 to the
International Space Station. Also known as Rassvet ("dawn" in
Russian), the module provides additional storage space and a new
docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

Ken Ham commanded the flight and was joined by Pilot Tony Antonelli
and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen
and Piers Sellers.

The mission's three spacewalks focused on replacing and installing
components outside the station, including replacing six batteries,
installing a communications antenna and adding parts to the Canadian
Dextre robotic arm.

A welcome ceremony for the astronauts will be held Thursday, May 27,
in Houston. The public is invited to attend the 4 p.m. CDT event at
Ellington Field's NASA Hangar 990.

Highlights from the ceremony will be broadcast on NASA Television's
Video File. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to
streaming video, visit:


STS-132 was the 132nd shuttle flight, the 32nd flight for Atlantis and
the 34th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and

With Atlantis and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the
launch of shuttle Discovery on its STS-133 mission, targeted to lift
off in September 2010. Discovery's flight will deliver the Leonardo
Permanent Multipurpose Module to house experiments. STS-133 also will
bring critical spare components and a cargo carrier to the station.
Robonaut 2, or R2, will be the first human-like robot in space when
it flies on Discovery to become a permanent resident of the station.

For more information about the STS-132 mission and the upcoming
STS-133 flight, visit:


For information about the space station, visit:


Source: NASA

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