Astronauts inspect shuttle on way to space station

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

February 9, 2010

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Astronauts are inspecting space shuttle Endeavour for launch damage as they race toward a 200-mile high rendezvous with the International Space Station.

The crew was using a 100-foot, laser-tipped boom early Tuesday to check the thermal shielding on the wings and nose.

Some foam insulation broke off the fuel tank during Monday morning's launch, but there was no indication anything hit the shuttle. A foam strike brought down Columbia in 2003.

The five space station residents are excitedly awaiting the crew. In a Twitter update, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi says, "Yeah! Endeavour is on our way!"

Endeavour is delivering a new room to the space station, as well a domed compartment that contains the biggest window ever launched.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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