Space Shuttle Update

A day after their spectacular launch, the crew of Discovery today will be using their 50-foot inspection boom to check for any damage to the shuttle.

During the spacecraft's ascent, video images showed small pieces of foam breaking away from the external fuel-tank and one even striking the belly of Discovery.

But shuttle managers have been quick to say there's no problem.

Program manager Wayne Hale says Discovery was so high when the pieces came off that there wasn't enough air to accelerate the foam into the shuttle and cause damage.

As Hale puts it, "We saw nothing that gives us any kind of concern about the health of the crew or the vehicle."

During the 12-day mission, the crew of Discovery will be delivering much-needed supplies to the international space station and making repairs to the orbiting lab during at least two spacewalks.


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