2 Days Ahead of Shuttle’s Final Return to Earth, Astronauts Make One Last Inspection of Ship
STS-132: Atlantis Astronauts Bid Farewell To Expedition 23 Crew On ISS Before Undocking
(CBS/ AP) Space shuttle Atlantis closed in on the 120 million-mile mark as its final voyage neared an end and astronauts inspected their ship in advance of Wednesday’s landing.
The laborious survey was carried out Monday using a newly repaired instrument that scanned Atlantis’ wings and nose for damage. NASA saved the inspection until the shuttle was flying free of the International Space Station.
Atlantis undocked from the space station Sunday for the last time, leaving behind a new 20-foot compartment loaded with supplies and six fresh batteries. The shuttle program is ending in another several months, and Atlantis has no more missions lined up.