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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shuttle Crew Readies for Return

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The seven U.S. and Russian astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis began their last full day in space Tuesday, stowing their gear, checking their flight lists and preparing for a predawn landing Wednesday.

The mission has completed a week of docked operations aboard the International Space Station, preparing the 13-story construction site for its first resident crew, scheduled to arrive in November.

"Atlantis is in perfect shape," said flight director Wayne Hale. "We’re looking forward to a good entry."

The crew’s 12-day mission was to outfit and supply the new crew quarters recently added to the station, activating some key hardware and leaving it ready for the three-man Expedition One team, which will live aboard the station for four months.

The station will not be completed before 2006.