Third Spacewalk an Important One

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

With NASA confidence growing that the space shuttle program is back on track, two astronauts are getting ready for an important spacewalk today to further cement the belief.

They'll be testing techniques to repair damaged heat shield tiles in orbit.

Tiles damaged by insulating foam falling from the external fuel tank is what doomed Columbia and brought shuttle flights to a screeching halt.

Astronauts began their day with the song 'I Believe I Can Fly.' sung by high school seniors Brianna Payne and Jeffrey Slater. Payne is the goddaughter of astronaut Stephanie Wilson.

Experts say Discovery's performance allows the shuttle program to return to its old job of completing the international space station with a flurry of 15 more shuttle flights. There may even be a 16th flight to fix and upgrade the aging Hubble Space Telescope.

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