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Sunita Williams awaiting Atlantis arrival
Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston | June 10, 2007 17:39 IST
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams along with the other crew in the International Space Station [Images] are busy making final preparations for the arrival of the Atlantis shuttle, which is to bring her back after a six-month stay there, the longest for any woman.
As the shuttle, scheduled to dock at 3:38 pm (0108 IST on Monday), closes in on the ISS, the stage is set for changes at the station and for its crew members.
Atlantis blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida [Images] on Friday to begin a two-day chase of the station.
During the 11-day mission, Atlantis' crew will continue the on-orbit construction of the ISS.
They will deliver a new power tower to the space lab, an addition that will provide electricity for science laboratories built by the Europeans and Japanese.
Rick Sturckow is commanding the shuttle and on board are pilot Lee Archambault, mission specialists Patrick Forester, James Reilly, Seven Swanson and John Olives and flight engineer Clayton Anderson who will replace Williams.
Atlantis is slated to undock from the station on June 17, the day after flight engineer Williams breaks the record for the longest spaceflight ever by a woman.
The record, 188 days and 4 hours, is currently held by NASA [Images] astronaut Shannon Lucid.