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TOPIC: STS-125 mission


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An inspection of the space shuttle Atlantis has uncovered some "minor" damage to the vehicle's right side, Nasa officials say.
Atlantis appears to be in good overall shape, but Nasa engineers in Houston are still studying the 53cm line of chips on the shuttle's right side.
More analysis will be needed to assess whether another inspection is needed.

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The US space shuttle Atlantis apparently was hit by a piece of debris that nicked part of its heat shield but the damage does not seem serious, NASA said on Tuesday.

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Heat shield tile on the space shuttle Atlantis may have been damaged by debris.
The astronauts used the vehicle's robotic arm to inspect the shuttle's thermal protection system, especially on the craft's nose and the edges of its wings.
Debris came off the Space Shuttle Atlantis 104 seconds after launch and struck the starboard side where the wing meets the fuselage.
Any in-orbit repairs would make the mission, on top of the planned space walks to repair the Hubble space telescope and added danger of space junk even more difficult.
However according to the astronauts they dont think the damage looks very serious.

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Shuttle crew set for rendezvous with Hubble
With yesterdays launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, seven astronauts are now on their way to conduct the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission. Space enthusiasts around the world are following their 11-day mission. For two Europeans in particular, it brings back fond memories of their own visit to an old friend.
Former ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier, a veteran of four spaceflights, was amongst the STS-61 crew who conducted the first mission to service the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 1993. He later returned to Hubble in 1999 with Space Shuttle flight STS-103, the third servicing mission. A member of the crew alongside Nicollier on that occasion was ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. 

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The crew of space shuttle Atlantis are inspecting the ship for any damage sustained during lift-off as they chase down the Hubble Space Telescope.

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TLE Data
STS 125
1 34933U 09025A 09132.34591464 -.00261016 -61844-5 -33732-3 0 66
2 34933 028.4550 336.9274 0285271 061.3004 106.9953 15.59812687 95


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Seven astronauts blasted off on the space shuttle Atlantis on Monday for one last flight to the Hubble Space Telescope - an extraordinarily ambitious mission that NASA hopes will lift the celebrated observatory to new scientific heights.

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Space shuttle Atlantis with its seven-member crew launched at 2:01 p.m. EDT Monday from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre on the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.
Atlantis' 11-day mission will include five spacewalks to refurbish Hubble with state-of-the-art science instruments designed to improve the telescope's discovery capabilities by up to 70 times while extending its lifetime through at least 2014.

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