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ATLANTIS HEADING HOME

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Workers prepared Atlantis for a weekend piggyback ride on a jet to Florida after finding the shuttle sustained very little damage to its heat-shield tiles during its latest space flight.

"Everything's going smooth. We're on schedule to depart on Saturday morning," said Lisa Malone, spokeswoman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.Atlantis Wednesday sat inside a 100-foot-tall steel structure named the "mate-demate device" as workers prepared to mount it atop a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet for the return to Kennedy Space Center.