International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 15 commander and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Oleg Kotov, and Expedition 15 flight engineer and U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams are preparing the Space Station for the Atlantis crew.
Rendezvous activities commence at 10:38 a.m. EDT, or 14:38 GMT. The TI (terminal initiation) burn is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT and the pitch maneuver is due at 2:37 p.m. EDT. Docking of the Shuttle with the Space Station is expected at 3:38 p.m. EDT, or 19:38 GMT. The hatch opens at about 5:03 p.m. EDT.
Later on Sunday, Clayton Anderson, crewmember with the STS-117 mission and Expedition 15 flight engineer Sunita Williams will switch roles. Williams becomes a crewmember of the Shuttle Atlantis, while Anderson, who is replacing Williams, becomes a member of the ISS Expedition 15 crew.
Williams returns to the Earth with the Atlantis crew on June 19th, while Anderson remains on the Station for an eventual return with the STS-120 crew in Space Shuttle Discovery, which is scheduled to launch on October 20, 2007 for its eleven-day ISS mission.
During the mission to the Station, three spacewalks will be performed. Part of the spacewalks will most likely involve inspections of the damage to the thermal blanket surrounding one of the Shuttle's OMS engines.
The OMS engines are a system of rocket engines used for orbital injection and orbit modification. They are located at the back of the Shuttle. Two large or pods on either side of the vertical stabilizer house the OMS engines. Each pod contains one OMS engine, which has a thrust of 6,000 pounds (force).
NASA TV will provide coverage of all events.