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Post Info TOPIC: STS-117 mission


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A meteorite or space junk may have struck Space Shuttle Atlantis' left wing.
NASA recorded a hit on reinforced carbon panels 7 and 8 on the left wing. The panels keep heat from re-entry from burning the spacecraft.

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Sensors on the shuttle Atlantis have recorded hits on the leading edges of the wings, around the area where Columbia suffered fatal damage four years ago, NASA officials said Tuesday. However, they emphasised that the hits probably did no damage to Atlantis.
The officials said the areas would be inspected to make certain that the wing will be safe.
The hits could have been caused by a collision with a small meteorite or a piece of space junk  in orbit, according to an internal NASA memo. However, it was more likely that the detections were caused by "thermal settling" or deformation rather than an actual impact.

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Rotating pitch manoeuvre of the space shuttle Atlantis shortly before docking with the International Space Station.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZGyH4TYmFbE]

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Astronauts will try to fix a thermal blanket that peeled back during Atlantis' launch, extending the space shuttle's mission from 11 to 13 days.
No decision had been made on whether the loosened blanket, covering a 4-by-6-inch area over a pod for engines, will be repaired during a previously planned third spacewalk or a fourth, extra one.

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[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=FyahdcAWilE]

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Space shuttle Atlantis has docked with the International Space Station (ISS), on the first shuttle mission of 2007.
The craft locked onto the station at 19:38 GMT, 354km above the western Pacific Ocean.

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STS-117 docking

sts117_docking_e5
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Credit: NASA


sts117_docked_e6
Expand (45kb, 560 x 381)
Credit: NASA


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iss117docking3

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STS117_ISS_dock
Expand (82kb, 630 x 390)
Credit: NASA

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sts117_dock_1e1
Expand (66kb, 560 x 382)
Credit: NASA

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