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Shuttle Atlantis Crew Prepares to Leave International Space Station


The crews of the space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station have wrapped up their joint work and are preparing for the shuttle's return to Earth.

The crews said farewell to each other and then closed the hatches between the two spacecrafts Sunday afternoon.

Atlantis will undock from the orbiter early Monday for a return to Earth Wednesday.

Saturday morning the space station was realigned in orbit to place it in a better position to receive future missions.

The Atlantis astronauts completed three spacewalks during their mission.

NASA is preparing landing sites for Atlantis at Cape Canaveral in Florida and a backup site at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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