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October 18, 2002

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

NOTE TO EDITORS: #J02-107 -- Public Invited to Welcome Home Astronauts Following Successful Mission

With a successful mission to continue expansion of the International Space Station behind them, the six-member crew of Atlantis will return to a heroes welcome at Houston's Ellington Field about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The public is invited to join Johnson Space Center employees and families in welcoming back the STS-112 crew - Commander Jeff Ashby, Pilot Pam Melroy, and Mission Specialists Dave Wolf, Sandy Magnus, Piers Sellers and Fyodor Yurchikin. The ceremony will take place at Hangar 990 at Ellington Field. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m.

Joining the astronauts' coworkers, friends and family in welcoming them home and congratulating them on a job well done will be NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and Johnson Space Center director General Jefferson D. Howell Jr.

Atlantis and its crew landed at 10:44 a.m. Friday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, concluding a voyage of 4.5 million miles. During the 11-day mission, the astronauts transferred more than 3,500 pounds of supplies and materials between the shuttle and space station and installed a 45-foot-long, 15-ton structural truss that will provide additional cooling capability and support the station's mobile transporter railcar. Wolf and Sellers conducted three spacewalks to complete outfitting of the truss, spending 19 hours 41 minutes working in the vacuum of space.

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


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