May 25, 2010 8:08 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
The Atlantis astronauts are getting their spaceship ready to come home.
Atlantis is scheduled to land Wednesday morning in Florida. Commander Kenneth Ham and his crew will spend Tuesday morning checking critical flight systems. The shuttle and its six astronauts are returning from the International Space Station. This is the last flight on the books for Atlantis. Only two missions remain as the shuttle program winds down.
Atlantis will be prepped for a potential rescue mission for the very last shuttle flight, to be conducted by Endeavour no earlier than November. Assuming no emergencies arise, NASA would like to fly Atlantis anyway, in June 2011. The White House would need to approve any such extension.