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Atlantis comes in for landing.
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NASA

Atlantis Returns Home
News story originally written on October 7, 1997

Commander Jim Wetherbee and pilot Mike Bloomfield brought Atlantis home with a perfect landing Monday at 4:55 p.m. CDT. The shuttle touched down at Kennedy Space Center after having been delayed a day due to foul weather conditions.

The main goal of this shuttle mission was to relieve Michael Foale of his position aboard the space station Mir. David Wolf is now serving as NASA's long-duration astronaut on Mir. The joint shuttle and Mir crew also transferred hardware, science equipment, and water from the shuttle onto Mir.

Thick clouds enveloping Kennedy Space Center kept Foale in orbit about the Earth for a 145th day. But this only increased the astronaut's excitement for returning home. He will soon be united with his wife and two children, Jenna and Ian, ages 5 and 3. Foale anticipates being able to speak face-to-face with Ian, who learned to talk while his daddy was in space. He also awaits a change of diet. Foale's regular diet of freeze-dried space food will be replaced with piping-hot pizza and a lot of chocolate!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF