9 a.m. CDT Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-115 MCC Status Report #24
After resuming the expansion of humanity's only outpost in space, Space Shuttle Atlantis came home this morning, gliding to a perfect pre-dawn landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Atlantis touched down on Runway 33 of Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility at 5:21:30 a.m. CDT. Atlantis had spent 11 days, 19 hours and six minutes in flight.
The landing on runway 33 marked the 21st night landing for the shuttle and the 15th night landing in Florida. Atlantis' nose gear touched down at 5:21:36 a.m. CDT and the shuttle's wheels came to a stop at 5:22:16 a.m. CDT.
Atlantis' crew included Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson and mission specialists Dan Burbank, Joe Tanner, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean. They will return to Houston on Friday. A welcoming ceremony for the crew's return to Houston is planned at noon CDT Friday at NASA Hangar 990 at Ellington Field.
During Atlantis' STS-115 mission, the first new component was attached to the International Space Station in almost four years. The shuttle crew worked with the station crew to attach a 17.5-ton, bus-sized section to the station's truss structure and unfold its new 240-foot solar wings, the second such set on the complex. The new solar arrays eventually will more than double the amount of power available for the station, setting the stage for additional solar arrays and laboratories to come. The shuttle crew completed three spacewalks to prepare the new arrays and associated electronics for use. The next shuttle mission, targeted for December, will rewire the station to bring the new power supplies online.
This is the final STS-115 mission status report.