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April 19, 2002

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281/483-5111

Release: J02-42 -- Public, Media Invited to Welcome Atlantis Crew Home NOTE TO EDITORS

The seven-member crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis will return home to Ellington Field, Hangar 990, about 1 p.m. Saturday.

The public and members of the media are invited to join Johnson Space Center employees and families in welcoming the crew back to Earth. Commander Michael Bloomfield, Pilot Stephen Frick and Mission Specialists Ellen Ochoa, Steven Smith, Rex Walheim, Jerry Ross and Lee Morin will be greeted by JSC Director Jefferson D. Howell Jr. as they return home to Houston following their nearly 11-day journey. Gates to Ellington Field will open at noon.

Atlantis and its crew glided to a landing at the Kennedy Space Center Friday, ending a 4.5-million-mile mission that saw successful delivery and installation of the centerpiece of the International Space Station’s main truss and the inaugural run of the first space railcar, the Mobile Transporter. Smith, Walheim, Ross and Morin completed four spacewalks to connect and outfit these new station components. The station’s eventual 356-foot-long truss will support power and cooling systems essential for the addition of future laboratories to the station. The Mobile Transporter provides a platform for the station’s robotic arm to ride along rails on the truss to assist in future assembly and maintenance of the station.

For updates on crew arrival time call 281-483-8600.

 

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