Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands at NASA Kennedy Space Center


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With Commander Steve Frick and Pilot Alan Poindexter at the controls, space shuttle Atlantis descended to a smooth landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The STS-122 crew began its mission Feb. 7 and arrived at the station Feb. 9. Crew members added the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus laboratory to the station, increasing the orbital outpost’s scientific capabilities. They also delivered a new crew member to the ISS and replaced an expended Nitrogen Tank Assembly on the station’s P1 Truss.

Mission Specialists Rex Walheim, Hans Schlegel and Stanley Love conducted a total of three spacewalks to install and prepare the Columbus module and replace the nitrogen tank.

ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts officially joined the Expedition 16 crew, trading places with NASA astronaut Daniel Tani, who returned to Earth aboard Atlantis after almost four months on the station.

STS-122 is the 121st shuttle mission and the 24th mission to visit the space station. The next mission, STS-123, is slated to launch in March.

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