Space Shuttle

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

For the first time in almost three years, a space shuttle is linked up with the international space station.

Discovery latched onto the space station after doing a high-flying somersault to allow those aboard the outpost to photograph the shuttle's belly for signs of damage.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin says it appears right now that "the orbiter is in fact a clean bird."

But this could be the last shuttle mission for a while. NASA announced yesterday it was grounding future shuttle flights because a chunk of insulating foam flew off Discovery's fuel tank during Tuesday's launch. That's the same problem that damaged -- and ultimately doomed -- Columbia in 2003.

This time, though, NASA officials say Discovery wasn't damaged.


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