Commander Terry Wilcutt guided Atlantis to a landing at 2:56
a.m. Central time, wrapping up a 4.9 million mile mission in which
more than three tons of equipment were delivered to the international
outpost. Wilcutt and his crewmates, Pilot Scott Altman and Mission
Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and
Boris Morukov completed the 23rd consecutive landing of a shuttle at
the Florida spaceport, and the 30th landing of a shuttle at the Cape
in the last 31 flights.
During their 12-day flight, the astronauts spent a week docked to
the International Space Station during which they worked as movers,
cleaners, plumbers, electricians and cable installers. In all, they
spent 7 days, 21 hours and 54 minutes docked to the International
Space Station, outfitting the new Zvezda module for the arrival of the
Expedition One crew later this fall.
Atlantis^Ò landing came just two weeks before the launch of
Discovery on the next assembly flight to the station, the STS-92
mission, scheduled for liftoff around October 5. Seven astronauts will
install a large truss structure to the Unity node of the Station,
housing motion control gear and communications equipment. The
so-called Z1 truss will also serve as the mounting platform for the
large U.S. solar arrays for the station which will be delivered late
The STS-106 crew is scheduled to return to Houston and a welcome
home at Ellington Field about 2 p.m. Thursday.