Space shuttle Endeavour arrives at space station

July 17, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this image rendered from video and released by NASA, the space shuttle Endeavour is shown as it approaches the international space station before docking Friday, July 17, 2009. The KIBO lab section of the space station is shown at bottom. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour has arrived at the international space station.

Endeavour docked at the space station Friday afternoon for a week-and-a-half-long stay. The linkup created the biggest crowd ever in orbit at the same place: 13 astronauts. The two crews will greet one another, face to face, as soon as the hatches between the craft are opened.

Before docking, commander Mark Polansky guided Endeavour through a backflip so the station astronauts could photograph the entire , primarily its belly. The station crew used zoom lenses to capture any evidence of serious damage from Wednesday's launch.

A considerable amount of foam insulation peeled away from Endeavour's fuel tank at liftoff and some shuttle thermal tiles were dinged.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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