Discovery chasing space station, survey up next

Feb 25, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. Discovery on its last mission to the International Space Station.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery is chasing the International Space Station after lifting off for its final mission.

The six astronauts will spend Friday surveying their ship for signs of damage. Several pieces of foam insulation broke off Discovery's fuel tank. But says it happened late enough in Thursday's launch to pose no safety concern. All the same, commander Steven Lindsey and his crew will use a 100-foot boom to inspect the vulnerable wings and nose.

Discovery - NASA's most traveled spaceship - will reach the orbiting lab Saturday. The shuttle is carrying a load of supplies and the first humanoid robot to fly in space.

Following its 11-day mission, Discovery will be retired and sent to a museum.

Explore further: NASA picks Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA postpones Discovery launch to mid-December

Nov 24, 2010

NASA on Wednesday postponed until mid-December the launch of the space shuttle Discovery on its last trip to the International Space Station after cracks were found in its external fuel tank.

NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

Oct 17, 2005

NASA engineers say they are closer to resolving the problem of large chunks of foam insulation falling off space shuttle external fuel tanks during launch.

Discovery to move to its launch pad

May 16, 2006

The space shuttle Discovery will be moved to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, beginning at 2 a.m.

Recommended for you

Image: Crescent Mimas

11 hours ago

A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon's violent history.

User comments : 0