Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Launch Damage
By  | 

NASA officials say there's no sign of danger for space shuttle Discovery.

In a briefing at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the flight operations manager said based on all the data reviewed so far,
Discovery "looks extremely good." He says officials haven't found any gouges deep enough to endanger Discovery.

But, John Shannon says the chunk of foam that ripped off the external tank during launch is "unacceptable" and the design needs to be fixed. Launch damage from foam strikes is blamed for the Columbia disaster.

Shannon says redesigns since the 2003 disaster have fixed a lot of debris problems. He says on this launch there was "much less foam than we have seen" in previous launches.

Still, the problem has prompted NASA to halt future launches until there's a fix.

Discovery did a back flip before docking with the space station today to give experts a better look at its belly.