|Navy Captain Stephen G. Bowen of Cohasset.|
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Atlantis arrived at the International Space Station yesterday for what could be its last visit, delivering fresh batteries and other equipment to help keep the outpost running long after the shuttle program ends.
Shuttle commander Kenneth Ham and his crew will spend a week at the orbiting science complex, installing a new Russian compartment and replacing six batteries. Three spacewalks are planned, beginning today. If the cable repair is approved, it would be added to the second spacewalk on Wednesday or the third on Friday.
Navy Captain Stephen G. Bowen of Cohasset and Garrett E. Reisman are planning a 6 1/2-hour spacewalk today to install a spare dish antenna and to mount an equipment stowage platform. Bowen, 46, a shuttle veteran, was the first submarine officer selected to be an astronaut.
For now, NASA has just two more shuttle missions planned, and none for Atlantis. But there is a push to keep the space shuttles flying until next June and to give Atlantis one last hurrah.
The rendezvous by Atlantis was accompanied by considerably more picture-taking than usual, to make up for a curtailed safety survey the day before. On Saturday, a snagged cable prevented the six shuttle astronauts from properly inspecting their ship.