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Atlantis shuttle crew prepare for journey back to Earth

Published 21/09/2006

The crew of the Atlantis space shuttle are preparing to return to Earth later today after a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

The US spacecraft has been passed fit for the journey after last-minute safety inspections prompted by video images showing mysterious objects drifting away from the vessel.

The weather has also improved, allowing the shuttle to begin its descent towards Kennedy Space Centre.

The Atlantis crew's mission was to resume construction on the International Space Station following a four-year break.

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